What Are the Different Approaches to Divorce in CA?

Choosing a Method that Suits Your Needs

There are a variety of methods that a couple can choose when separating. The most significant choice they can make when determining the distribution of assets and debts and child custody arrangements is whether to pursue their goals in a harmonious manner or in a legal battle. If you are in the early stages of a divorce, it is crucial that you consider all of your options and make a decision that is best suited to your situation.

Uncontested Divorce

In some cases, divorcing couples are able to come together and sort out their differences in a collaborative manner. This method is what is known as an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorces are typically preferred over long, drawn out battles in court, as they can be solved in a much quicker and less expensive manner. If you have children, pursuing an uncontested divorce can be a wonderful gift as it minimizes the emotional turmoil they experience and keeps the door open to an amicable relationship in the future.

Contested Divorce

Unfortunately, not all couples are able to see eye to eye when determining the terms of their separation. In a contested divorce, divorcing spouses each retain their own representation and hash out their differences in court. Once both sides have had a chance to present their arguments, a judge will make a decision that carries the weight of law. This is the most common type of divorce.


For couples who want to keep their divorce outside of court, mediation is a desirable option. A mediator acts a third-party that evaluates the situation and attempts to guide the divorcing spouses towards a desirable outcome. Mediators do not make any decisions on behalf of the divorcing couple, but simply guide them in the right direction while facilitating healthy communication. In order for mediation to be useful, both spouses must be willing to participate.

Start Today with a Family Law Specialist

Regardless of the method you choose, it is imperative that you retain trusted representation to protect your rights at every step of the way. At Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich, our highly skilled Riverside County divorce lawyers can use their 50+ years of collective legal experience to help you reach the most amicable solution possible for your situation. As shown by our Board Certification in Family Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization, we have the invaluable knowledge you need to get you through this difficult time.

To find out more on how we can help, contact our office or call us today at (951) 506-6654!


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