Navigating the Process of Filing for Divorce in San Diego: A Comprehensive Guide

Divorce can be a challenging and emotional process for anyone. At JWB Family Law in San Diego, we understand the complexities involved and are committed to guiding you through every step with compassion and expertise. This blog aims to help with navigating the process of filing for divorce in San Diego through insight and information for this significant life change.

Understanding Divorce in San Diego

Divorce in San Diego, as in the rest of California, is governed by state laws. California is a ‘no-fault’ divorce state, meaning that the spouse filing for divorce does not need to prove any wrongdoing on the part of the other spouse. The most common ground for divorce is irreconcilable differences.

Beginning the Divorce Process

Meeting Residency Requirements

To file for divorce in San Diego, you or your spouse must have lived in California for at least six months and in San Diego County for at least three months prior to filing.

Preparing and Filing the Petition

The divorce process officially begins when you file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court. This document outlines your wishes regarding property division, child custody, spousal support, and other relevant matters.

Serving the Petition 

After filing, you must ‘serve’ the petition to your spouse, following legal procedures to ensure they are formally notified.

Navigating the Legal Terrain 

Financial Disclosures 

Both parties are required to complete financial disclosures detailing all assets, debts, income, and expenses. This step is crucial for a fair division of property and for determining support obligations.

Temporary Orders

You may need to request temporary court orders for child support, spousal support, or child custody during the divorce process.

Negotiation and Mediation

Many divorce cases involve negotiation or mediation to reach a settlement agreement on various issues. This can be a less adversarial and more cost-effective approach than going to trial.


If you and your spouse cannot agree on key issues, your case may go to trial, where a judge will make the final decisions.

Special Consideration in San Diego Divorce

Military Divorce

San Diego, with its large military presence, sees many military divorces, which involve additional considerations like military pensions and benefits.

High-Asset Divorces

High-asset or complex divorces may involve businesses, substantial property holdings, investments, and other significant assets, requiring expert handling.

Child Custody and Visitation

Determining child custody and visitation is often the most emotionally charged aspect of a divorce. In San Diego, courts focus on the best interest of the child.

Post-Divorce Matters 


Post-divorce, circumstances may change, necessitating modifications to support or custody arrangements.


If a former spouse fails to comply with court orders, legal action may be required to enforce the terms.

Tips for a Smoother Divorce Process

  • Seek Legal Advice: Consulting with a family law attorney can provide clarity and direction.
  • Stay Informed: Understanding your rights and responsibilities can make the process less daunting.
  • Focus on Well-being: Take care of your emotional and physical health during this stressful time.

Contact Us 

Filing for divorce in San Diego involves navigating legal, financial, and emotional complexities. At JWB Family Law, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the support, guidance, and representation needed during this difficult time. Our team of experienced attorneys understands the nuances of California divorce law and is prepared to advocate for your best interests.

If you’re considering filing for divorce or need assistance with any aspect of family law in San Diego, please contact JWB Family Law at 619-234-6123. We’re here to help you through this challenging journey with professionalism and empathy.

Let’s work together

Schedule a free initial appointment with our experienced family law attorneys