Q: My wife and I are going our separate ways, and each of us has a lawyer. We are being encouraged to have a remote mediation to seek to work things out. Is this really possible? I do not have to actually go to court?
-B.W., Santa Monica
A: Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, much is being done “remotely” now, which means conferencing over the internet. In addition, court appearances for lawyers are often done over the phone. Thus, your personal attendance is not critical, and not expected in many instances. A mediated divorce resolution could be handled remotely by a skilled mediator, particularly since both sides have their own attorneys. Talk the process out with your lawyer. You may not see the other side on the screen, or you may at some point(s), but that will be determined by the mediator. It remains possible that a matter arises that requires your physical attendance in court, but at present, that would have to meet narrow circumstances the courts have created to address genuine emergencies (for example, an application to restrain violence). To be clear, the divorce case is filed in and ultimately processed through the court, but it is possible many aspects can be handled outside of court.
Q: How long does it take to get a divorce in California?
-V.A., Manhattan Beach
A: At minimum, a divorce takes six months (from filing to completion). This is because the six months is set by statute with the idea there may be a reconciliation as time passes. Many divorces take longer than the six months given issues to be dealt with (spousal support, property division, child support).
Calculate Child Support
Online, the guidelines with regard to child support can be found at: childsupport.ca.gov. This link is published by the California Support Services Agency.
Ron Sokol is a Manhattan Beach attorney with more than 35 years of experience. His column, which appears in print on Wednesdays, presents a summary of the law and should not be construed as legal advice. Email questions and comments to him at RonSEsq@aol.com.
Go to Source
Author: Ron Sokol