A Review on the Types of CA Divorce Proceedings

family law and divorce legal adviceWhen it comes to terminating a marriage, we at R & S Law Group, LLP are the first to attest that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach! Every relationship is different and families have their own dynamics as well as specific circumstances. 

Given the complex nature of human relationships, as well as the permanence and significance of divorce, family law in CA offers various paths that one can take to exit a marriage. We’ve discussed these in our previous posts, but today we thought it would be helpful to offer a refresher on the main types of divorce proceedings available to you in CA. 

For advice past just this overview, remember that you can always reach out to us directly at R & S Law Group, LLP. 

Uncontested Divorce

This is the stereotypical divorce proceeding that comes to mind: a person petitions a divorce and the other spouse is served with divorce papers. When both parties agree to the terms of the divorce, uncontested divorce allows the simplest and most streamlined option. You’ll still have to go through formal legal processes but provided the arrangement is legally sound, this is a straightforward way to end a marriage.

Contested Divorce

This type of divorce follows the exact mechanisms used for an uncontested divorce, with the key difference being that neither party can agree on the terms of the divorce. This process is kicked off when the respondent is served with the divorce papers, where he/she can formally state that the terms are not agreeable.

This kicks off additional procedures depending on how you both (as well as your attorney) want to proceed, and includes mediation, litigation, and more. Contested divorce makes sense in situations where the ex simply refuses to cooperate with you.


While mediation is a tool that can be used to great success during a contested divorce, it’s also possible to skip straight to mediation and avoid the traditional divorce process altogether.

Mediation allows you and the ex to work with a neutral party who helps you both come to an agreement in every aspect of your divorce that may be contested. Skipping straight to mediation offers significant benefits such as decreased costs, faster resolution time, and more. One of the biggest advantages that mediation affords is that it provides you both with added control over how the process plays out and lets you keep your divorce proceedings confidential, away from the public record.

Choosing the Divorce Path That is Best For Your Family

Looking over these options, you may be feeling overwhelmed at the various paths you can take during this critical period. Remember that you’re not alone in making these decisions.

Ensure that you’ve retained your own counsel, someone who is vested in your interests and can ensure that your rights are protected every step of your divorce. Learn more about how we at R & S Law Group, LLP can help you navigate any family law matter in CA, including those relating to child custody, alimony, visitation arrangements, and more.