Vista Divorce Lawyer

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Vista Divorce Lawyer

Vista Divorce Attorney

Divorce is never easy. Even uncontested divorces, in which spouses can agree on all matters of the separation, take significant time and energy and are difficult without the help of an attorney. If you are considering filing for divorce or have already started the process, it is ideal to do so with skilled legal assistance. At Erica Bloom Law, our qualified Vista divorce lawyer can assist you at every step of your divorce.

From helping you understand the paperwork to sitting with you in the courtroom, we can guide you through the complicated process. Contact Erica Bloom Law today to schedule a consultation with our divorce attorney.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

When you and your spouse cannot agree on significant issues, your divorce is contested. Contested divorces take more time and money to resolve. When spouses start with an uncontested divorce, the process is much shorter and more straightforward, but doing so is not always possible.

A contested divorce can mean the court may have to decide details on your behalf. Common issues that a court decides on are:

  • Support Payments: Payment for supporting a spouse or a former spouse
  • Child Custody: Deciding who has the shared or sole right to make major life decisions about a child or have the child in their care
  • Child Support: A payment made to meet the reasonable needs of the parent’s child
  • Division of Property: The splitting of assets, liabilities, and any other community property

If you are seeking a divorce, it is encouraged that you spend time discussing the logistics with your spouse if you can. An open discussion can prove beneficial for both parties in the long run.

At Erica Bloom Law, we have a depth of knowledge in California divorce law and experience in navigating both uncontested and contested divorces, as well as obtaining the results our clients need.

How Long Does a Divorce Take?

How long your divorce takes depends on your circumstances. Our lawyer can assist you with estimating the time it will take by examining all relevant factors and creating a timeline.

In general, an uncontested divorce, or a simple divorce, takes at least six months. This timeframe is the quickest a divorce can be because California has a six-month waiting period after you file the final paperwork. Therefore, although there is no court battle, uncontested divorces take time.

The timeframe of contested divorces is, commonly, at least a year. Each issue that must be resolved adds time to the process. Sometimes, you may choose negotiation or mediation to settle some of your disagreements before proceeding to court. Your contested divorce will go on for as long as needed for you and your spouse to agree or for the court to come to a decision.

The Contested Divorce Process

The average divorce starts contested. In most cases, you will have disagreements about how to divide property, how support payments should be allocated, or, in the case that you have children, determining who should have custody. Because of the unique nature of divorce, the timeframe, steps and monetary cost will be different for your situation than someone else’s. Despite this, if you are planning to get divorced, know that contested divorces usually follow a general process.

Filing and Response

To begin the divorce process in Vista, CA, you complete two forms: a Petition and a Summons.

  • Petition: This includes detailed information about your marriage and what you want the court to decide for you (e.g., spousal support or property division).
  • Summons: This informs your spouse that you have begun the divorce process and that they have 30 days to respond.

Suppose you have minor children with your spouse. In that case, you must also fill out the Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act form, which explains where your children were born and live. It also details applicable information, like if there are other court cases they are involved in.


After completing the appropriate forms, you must gather and exchange information about assets, liabilities, and related property. This step can last several months, depending on the specifics of your situation.

To save time, it helps to start this process as early as possible and to put as much information as possible in writing. If you have property records or lists of your assets, it is wise to make copies.

Negotiations and Mediation

Detailing all marital property is only half of the work if you and your spouse disagree on who should get what in the divorce. If willing, you can negotiate and go through mediation (typically with or through lawyers). This process can last several months, depending on the number of items disagreed upon.

Court Proceedings

Your case will go to court when you cannot agree on contested issues. A trial can be a long and arduous process. While some cases can take only a few months, others may take a year or more.


Once you reach a resolution, the court issues a final judgment. This step can take several weeks to a few months. Afterward, the divorce is final.

Understanding Divorce Requirements in California

Like many other states, California is a no-fault divorce state. This designation means that either party can request a divorce without proving fault. Despite this, there are still specific requirements before a divorce can proceed.


At least one spouse must be a resident for at least six months before filing for divorce. If both spouses have been residents for at least six months but have lived in different counties, they can file in either county.

If neither spouse has been a resident of California for at least six months prior to filing for divorce, the divorce cannot be filed.

Grounds for Divorce

Although neither spouse has to prove fault, California still requires grounds for divorce. Irreconcilable differences, or a marriage broken beyond repair, are common grounds for getting divorced.

Filing the Petition

The spouse initiating the divorce has to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This process includes making a payment and submitting proper forms. After filing, the other spouse has a specified window of time in which they need to respond and will also have to pay their corresponding fee.

Property Division and Support Issues

Most divorce processes stall at this stage due to the complexities of assets and disagreements. Although spouses agree on the need for a divorce, property division, and support decisions are where most conflicts arise.

California is a community property state, meaning that you get to keep 50% of any money or property you generated during the marriage and 100% of anything you owned before the marriage began, received as a personal gift, or inherited.

Although this seems simple, most problems arise from spouses’ differing views on which half of the property they should receive. While monetary assets are split more easily, the same cannot be said about a TV, a car, or a house.

Mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution

Many spouses attempt mediation or other alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve issues related to property division, support decisions, or other disagreements. These methods can prevent the pair from going to court, which can be time-consuming, stress-inducing, and costly. The mediator should be a neutral party, typically a family law attorney.

Both parties must agree to mediate privately and confidentially to start the process. The mediator creates a space where the couple can negotiate their issues and reach an outcome that suits them both. Mediation differs from litigation, where parties argue back and forth (usually through attorneys). Instead, the couple works together to decide how to divide their property and move forward.

Overall, the mediation process is beneficial in ways such as:

  • Retaining control over outcomes of the divorce,
  • Fostering open communication between the parties,
  • Promoting future family harmony,
  • Maintaining privacy and confidentiality,
  • Shortening any justice system wait times, and
  • Cutting down legal costs.

Court Proceedings

When spouses cannot resolve contested issues through negotiation or mediation, the case proceeds to a trial. In court, a judge makes the decisions on behalf of the couple based on precedent and perceived fairness. The judge hears both sides, listens to witnesses, reviews any evidence, and then decides.

To prepare for a divorce trial, you will need to:

  • Set a date
  • Complete financial disclosures
  • Go to a settlement conference
  • Research the law
  • Gather evidence
  • Conduct discovery from your spouse
  • Issue a subpoena for witnesses.
  • Plan your testimony

This process is immensely difficult for a layperson to do by themselves. If your divorce goes to trial, it is especially important to seek legal representation. Missing a step or making a mistake can cause the timeline to become even longer, or it could result in an unfavorable divorce settlement.

If you and your spouse come to an agreement while preparing for your trial, you can settle the divorce without going to court, which is a common occurrence. This pretrial agreement can save you a significant amount of money and time.

Contact Our Vista Divorce Lawyer Today

Divorces can be long and painful. However, your divorce can be less complicated when you have proper legal representation. At Erica Bloom Law, we can advocate for the most favorable outcome and assist you every step of the way. We have a proven track record of helping people like you in Vista and the surrounding areas.

Whether you have recently decided to get divorced or are having trouble at one of the many steps in the process, we are for you. We understand the complexities of divorce and are committed to helping you navigate this difficult time.

Contact Erica Bloom Law today for a consultation with our divorce attorney in Vista.


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