Q: What if my spouse does not want to give me a divorce?
A: California is a "no fault" divorce state. That means that consent is not necessary to obtain a divorce. The usual grounds are simply "irreconcilable differences". The unwillingness of the opposing spouse to participate in the proceedings can have other ramifications, depending on the issues in your matter (children, business interests, excessive debts).
Q: Is it important to be the first to file?
A: There is really no "advantage" to being the Petitioner (first to file) other than it sets the process in motion and requires the other party to take some action.
Q: How much will a divorce cost?
A: This is probably the most asked question and the most difficult to answer due to the tremendous amount of variables that can be present in a case. Are there any previous agreements regarding division of property? Are the parties wage earners or business owners? How do you envision custody and time sharing of any children and does your spouse concur? Are there domestic violence issues, drinking, drugs, gambling or excessive spending issues? All of these issues can have an impact on the cost of a divorce. It is important to review potential issues and their cost with your attorney at the outset and to be realistic as to what is affordable and attainable.
Get Emotionally Supported: Join a support group or seek independent counseling with a trained therapist or member of your clergy.
Keep a Journal: Record significant events that benefit your case or as a vehicle to release your emotions.
Be Honest: Get a proper perspective on your situation and take ownership of your share of mistakes.
Listen: You've paid for objective legal advice, consider it carefully.
Protect Your Children: Emotionally, financially and physically.