Divorce and Dissolution

Family Law Representation for San Francisco Residents

At Lerner Poole, our attorneys have a combined 50 years of experience helping clients navigate divorce proceedings in San Francisco and elsewhere in the Bay Area. Regardless of the amount of time you were married, divorce is often life-changing. While you may agree with your spouse about certain issues, spouses often disagree about key aspects of the process, ranging from child custody to how property should be divided. Esther R. Lerner and Stacey Poole are both certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization as Family Law specialists, and we are prepared to help you face the complex legal issues associated with ending a marriage.

How Divorce Proceedings Unfold

In California, divorce is granted on a no-fault basis. The court can approve a petition to dissolve a marriage if it finds that irreconcilable differences have caused the marriage to irrevocably break down. Divorces may be granted even if one spouse does not want to divorce. The process is initiated when one of the spouses files a petition and serves it on the other spouse, who is known as a respondent. That spouse has 30 days to file a response to the petition.

The earliest that a California court can grant a divorce is six months after the non-filing spouse is served with a petition or appears before the judge, but most divorce cases take longer than six months because there are numerous issues that must be resolved. For example, couples may disagree about a prenuptial agreement or about the worth of a family-owned business. They may also dispute child visitation and custody matters, which can be complicated.

Temporary court orders may be filed related to child custody, child support, or restraining orders. As the case proceeds, the spouses will exchange relevant documents in a process known as discovery. Among other things, the parties are required to reveal information about community property and separate property. After discovery and the disclosure of information regarding all assets, the spouses may be able to negotiate a settlement with the help of attorneys. However, in some instances the spouses continue to disagree about certain issues. In that situation, a divorce trial may be necessary to resolve them.

Discuss Your Family Law Matter with a Marin County Attorney

The family law lawyers at Lerner Poole offer comprehensive representation to individuals throughout Marin County communities such as Tiburon, San Rafael, and Greenbrae. We do not push our clients towards a particular resolution, but instead guide and empower them to make wise choices. While we strive to amicably settle cases for our clients, we are prepared to take our cases to trial in order to pursue an outcome that you feel is in your best interest. Contact us at 415-415-391-6000 or via our online form to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your specific situation. We will take the time to listen to the details of your situation so that we can understand your specific needs and goals before recommending a course of action.