Whether you and your spouse are willing to work together or you are completely at odds regarding the terms of your divorce, at some point you will have to take your divorce to court. So, what can you expect when you are standing in front of the judge?
California divorce judges like to ask questions. Whether simply confirming that divorcing spouses understand the implications of their decisions or trying to discern why feuding spouses have been unable to come to terms, divorce judges ask questions so that they can make their own informed decisions. After all, getting divorced is a legal matter with significant implications for everyone involved, and the California courts have limited resources for hearing disputes between spouses who are unable or unwilling to come to terms on their own.
What does Do California Judges ask During Divorce Hearings?
The types of questions you are likely to be asked will be heavily dependent on the nature of the proceeding at which you are appearing (i.e. whether you are seeking final approval of your settlement agreement or you are involved in an ongoing contested divorce). With this in mind, some general examples of questions California judges might ask during a divorce hearing include:
- How long were you married? This is a fairly standard question that judges will ask for a variety of different reasons, from simply gathering background information to trying to gain insight into the issues involved in the spouses’ divorce.
- Has the “cooling off” period expired? California has a six-month waiting period (or “cooling off”) period between the date that one spouse files for divorce and the date that their divorce can become final. The judge may want to know how long you and your spouse have been working to resolve your differences in good faith; or, if you have negotiated a settlement, the judge may simply need to confirm that he or she can finalize your divorce.
- Do you have children from your current marriage? Understandably, one of any judge’s top concerns during a divorce is going to be protecting the best interests of any children involved. If you have children from your current marriage, the judge will want to know that you are giving due consideration to California’s best interests factors.
- Do you have children from a prior relationship? Having children from a prior relationship can potentially impact your divorce in a number of different ways. The judge will want to know about all children who have the potential to be affected by your divorce so that he or she can review the terms of your parenting plan and child support payments accordingly.
- Have you consulted California’s Child Support Guidelines? As a general rule, divorcing parents must calculate child support according to California’s Child Support Guidelines (the “Guidelines”). The judge will want to know that you have applied the Guidelines and not arbitrarily arrived at a child support amount.
- What efforts have you undertaken to negotiate a resolution? If you and your spouse are not in agreement on the terms of your divorce, the judge will want to know why. He or she will also need to assess whether further negotiations (or mediation) may be fruitful, or whether judicial intervention may be necessary.
Discuss Your Situation with San Diego Divorce Lawyer Richard M. Renkin
Getting divorced is an involved process, and it is important to make informed decisions before taking your divorce in front of a judge. If you have questions and would like to speak with a San Diego divorce lawyer in confidence, please call 619-299-7100 or request an appointment online today.