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The right family law attorney can shape your future after divorce.

In California, a divorce is referred to as Dissolution of Marriage.

Dissolution of Marriage is the legal tool used to end a marital union and sever the financial community that was formed on the day you married. The steps you take from the date you decide to separate and the attorney you choose to assist you is critically important. We help you understand the process of divorce so that you can make the decisions that are right for your family’s future.

Divorce Process

A Petition for Dissolution will initiate your divorce case.

Once filed, the other party must be served, and respond in 30 days.

A dissolution will be granted even when only one spouse wants a divorce.

There are many different ways that your divorce can proceed without litigation. This will depend on the complexity of the issues and ability of the parties and attorneys to work together to achieve resolution.

Schedule a consult with a family law attorney at Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde today. We will assist you in taking the first steps towards a brighter future after divorce.

Default Divorce

A matter may proceed by default if, after thirty days from being served, the responding party (the Respondent) does not file a response with the Court.

When this occurs, the filing party (the Petitioner) may request that the Court proceed without Respondent’s input. The Petitioner will be responsible for filing the correct paperwork and Judgment documents before the Court will grant the dissolution.

CKLH can help you process your default dissolution.

Attorney’s Fees

Unlike other areas of the law the Family Code provides that one party can pay for the other’s attorney’s fees so that there is equality in the legal process.

This legal right is not automatic. You must be prepared to present the Court with the evidence necessary to obtain or defeat an attorney’s fee request. The family law attorneys at Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde can help you understand whether you have a right to attorney’s fees or if you have exposure to paying for your spouse’s attorney. Call to request a consultation today.

To speak with an experienced attorney in Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde’s family law practice, please call (714) 997-7870, or click here to contact us by email.

Financial Declarations

If the other party appears by filing a response, the next step in a dissolution is to exchange financial disclosures. This process involves completing paperwork with supporting statements to identify all of the assets and debts of the spouses. It is important that disclosures are accurate because the Court can sanction a party for withholding information. The attorneys at CKLH work closely with clients to prepare preliminary and final declarations of disclosure as required by the Family Code.

Temporary Court Orders/Request for Orders

There may be some immediate issues in your divorce that require Court intervention. The Court does not automatically set hearings or trial. You must ask the Court for a hearing if you need temporary orders, as it may take many months or years to get a trial date. You may file a Request for Order any time after initiating the dissolution for issues such as who will live in the marital home, custody and visitation orders, child and spousal support, or attorney’s fees. These issues can be negotiated between spouses, but if no agreement is reached, a hearing ensures that the Judge will make orders on these issues. The family law attorneys at Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde utilize their strong negotiation skills to resolve preliminary issues. If negotiation fails, CKLH files a Request for Order to obtain immediate help for clients.

Uncontested or Stipulated Dissolutions

A dissolution is uncontested when a divorce Judgment is obtained by Stipulation or Agreement of the parties. These dissolutions can be completed by the submission of Judgment paperwork directly to the Court and without ever appearing before a judge. Many divorces that begin contested resolve before trial when the parties find common ground. An attorney who is committed to achieving out of court resolutions is essential to this outcome. The family law attorneys at Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde are skilled negotiators who aggressively advocate your position and obtain a successful resolution without ever going to court.

Collaborative Divorce

In a Collaborative Divorce, the parties commit to resolve their dissolution out of court. Each party is represented by an attorney who is also committed to working together to arrive at a Stipulated Judgment. This process only works when the parties trust each other and agree to compromise when they disagree. The family law attorneys at CKLH assess whether a case is suited for the collaborative divorce process, and will work with you to achieve a peaceful end to your marriage.

Contested Dissolution or Litigated Divorces

Sometimes it is just not possible for parties to agree on the many issues necessary to obtain a dissolution.  When parties disagree over the division of their property, custody and visitation, spousal support, and attorney’s fees, litigation will be required. Attending preliminary hearings and a trial is the most emotionally wrought and costly way to obtain a divorce.

At trial, the Judge will hear evidence and make decisions on any issues the parties do not agree upon. The family law attorneys at Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde apply a detailed approach to preparing for each trial and aggressively advocate each client’s positions to the judge.

Summary Dissolution

Parties who have been married 5 years or less, have no children, and meet other requirements may agree to have their marriage dissolved by summary dissolution. The family law attorneys at Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde can assist you obtaining a dissolution through this process should your case qualify.

Contact Us Today

Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde, LLP
254 S. Glassell Street
Orange, CA 92866

(714) 997-7870

When it comes to your children, your assets and defining your future, you need the experienced and compassionate family law attorneys at Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde.

To strategize with a family law attorney, please call (714) 997-7870, or click here to contact CKLH by email.

Clients Share Their Experiences

  • As hurtful as divorce is, Julie made the process easier to manage. She explained things clearly, gave fast and honest responses. and I felt that she was looking out for my interests. I felt very well represented. I also loved how efficient and professional Julie and staff were handling my case. I felt they cared about me.

    Carmen – Family Law Client
    A great law firm in Old Town Orange!
  • Julie is kind, professional and gave great advice She made going through something as stressful as a divorce more bearable. The staff was pleasant, professional, approachable, readily available with answers to my many questions.

    Family Law Client
  • Julie is fantastic and makes everything so easy for you! I enjoyed working with her very much. She was informative, communicative, timely, and diligent. Strongly recommend!

    Family Law Client
  • Awesome firm. That is why I recommended this firm to my friend and will continue to recommend people…I don’t give compliments unless they’re deserved. Bravo.

    Family Law Client
  • Julie’s response was always proactive and positive in a matter that kept changing. I am truly satisfied with the results. I would recommend the firm.

    Family Law Client
  • Dana Heyde was responsive to my questions and offered valuable options and recommendations. I was very pleased with how responsive and helpful Dana Heyde was. She kept me informed at every phase and was helpful in managing the cost and time involved.

    Post Judgment Support Client
  • Julie and team are amazing. They are so helpful and knowledgeable and respectful of my situation and the decisions I made. Ultimately, they are the reason I’m amicably divorced or I would still be in limbo. I have and will continue to recommend CKLH.

    Family Law Client
  • Julie was always reachable and helpful. She was honest and gave good advice. When she was on maternity leave the partners stepped in and were equally helpful.

    Family Law Client
  • Dana made the legal process easy and I feel that this firm is trustworthy. Great job and thank you.

    Family Law Client
  • My family law issue was resolved quickly with the help of CKLH. Will definitely refer friends to Julie.

    Family Law Client
  • This was one of the best legal experiences I’ve ever had. I was very pleased with the outcome and I was treated very well by the entire staff. I highly recommend this firm.

    Peter DiFilippo
    Family Law Client/Business Owner

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