San Diego Divorce Attorneys

If you're considering a divorce in San Diego, Doppelt and Forney are here to help, right from the start. 

Our divorce lawyers in San Diego, with over three decades of experience, offer guidance on legal rights and options in family law, even before any legal proceedings begin. 

We provide free, confidential virtual consultations to help you understand your situation better. 

When your marriage is breaking up, having an experienced family law attorney in San Diego can help relieve your stress and anxiety by getting the best possible outcome for you. 

Reach out to Doppelt and Forney San Diego divorce attorneys by calling (858) 312-8500 or by contacting us online.  Find out how we can help you move forward today.

Why Hire Doppelt and Forney for Your Divorce in San Diego?

  • We Focus on Our Clients. At Doppelt and Forney, we prioritize a personalized approach for each of our clients. We recognize that every family law matter is deeply personal and distinct. 
Divorce Lawyers in San Diego

Our clients often tell us how much they value our empathetic support and the understanding we bring to their unique situations. 

It's our commitment to not just listen but to truly hear and comprehend the challenges each client faces. 

This approach is reflected in the positive feedback and testimonials we receive, where clients mention the comfort and clarity we provide during what can be a very difficult time.

  • Our Experience in San Diego's Divorce Law. We bring a wealth of experience to family law matters in San Diego. Our team is well-versed in the different types of divorces, which allows us to provide informed and effective counsel to our clients. 

We understand the complexities of cases in family law, from property division to child custody. 

Our experience is reflected not only in our legal strategy but also in the way we guide our clients through the legal process, always aiming to alleviate their concerns and work towards favorable solutions.

  • Transparent and Timely Communication. In our family law practice at Doppelt and Forney, we prioritize clear and prompt communication and provide our clients with a Written Service Guarantee

We believe that keeping our clients informed every step of the way is key to a successful attorney-client relationship. 

Our clients appreciate our commitment to updating them regularly about their cases and our policy of responding swiftly to their inquiries during their divorce process.  

This approach helps ensure that our clients always feel supported and well-informed about their legal matters.

  • Dedicated to Achieve Positive Outcomes. At Doppelt and Forney, we are dedicated to achieving the best outcomes for our clients. 

Every divorce in San Diego is prepared with thoroughness and attention to detail, ensuring that we address all aspects of the marriage dissolution. 

We strive to reach resolutions that align with your goals, whether through mediation or in the courtroom. 

Our representation is about more than just legal guidance; it's about working towards solutions that positively impact your life and future.

  • Accessible Legal Services. Doppelt and Forney, APLC is committed to providing accessible legal services. 
Divorce in San Diego

We understand that legal representation can be a significant investment, and we strive to offer financial options that accommodate our clients' financial situations. 

This commitment to accessibility reflects our belief that quality legal support should be available to everyone. 

We are here to help you understand your options and find a solution that works for you.

  • Advantages of a Certified Family Law Specialist

Doppelt and Forney San Diego divorce lawyers are honored to have a Certified Family Law Specialist on our team. 

This certification is a testament to our in-depth knowledge and dedicated approach to family law in San Diego. 

With this level of professional experience, every detail of the division of property, child custody, visitation rights, spousal support, and debts is meticulously addressed. 

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What Are the Two Main Types of Divorce in San Diego?

In California, the process of ending a marriage can generally be categorized into two main types: summary dissolution and regular divorce. Each type has distinct requirements and procedures.

Summary Dissolution

  • Summary dissolution is a more straightforward and cost-effective way to dissolve a marriage or domestic partnership in California.
  • It is designed for couples who have been married or in a domestic partnership for less than 5 years, have no children together, own or owe relatively little, do not seek spousal support, and have reached an agreement on how to divide their property.
  • The eligibility criteria for summary dissolution are strict. If even one condition is not met, the couple cannot proceed with this method. Key requirements include:
    • Marriage or partnership duration of less than 5 years.
    • No children together, either born or adopted before or after the marriage or partnership.
    • Neither partner owns or leases real estate.
    • The couple's debts, excluding car loans, are less than $7,000.
    • The total value of community property is under $53,000, and separate property owned by each spouse is also under $53,000.
    • Both partners agree on the division of all their property and debts.
    • Waiver of any rights to spousal support.

The summary dissolution process involves less paperwork and only one filing fee. However, it still adheres to the six-month waiting period common in California divorces.

Regular Divorce (Non-Summary Divorce)

  • Regular divorce is applicable for couples who do not qualify for summary dissolution. This includes situations where couples have been married for more than five years, have children together, own significant property or debts, or have disagreements regarding spousal support or property division.
  • This type of divorce is more complex and typically involves more paperwork and higher costs.
  • Couples might opt for a regular divorce to address and settle various issues, including but not limited to child custody, spousal support, and division of property and debts.
  • Like summary dissolution, regular divorces also require a mandatory six-month waiting period from the filing date until the divorce is finalized.
Divorce Case in San Diego

In both summary and regular divorces, California's status as a no-fault state plays a role, meaning that the grounds for divorce are typically based on irreconcilable differences. 

The choice between summary dissolution and regular divorce largely depends on the couple's specific circumstances and needs, with summary dissolution being a more streamlined option under certain strict conditions.

Many people, understandably, look at going through a divorce as an emotional investment; however, marriage dissolution can be easier to resolve if it is looked at as a business decision. 

Why You Should Hire an Experienced San Diego Family Lawyer

When considering your options for representation during a divorce in California, it's helpful to understand the limitations of certain choices and the advantages of attorney representation.

Self-Representation (In Pro Per)

  • Limitations:
    • A lack of legal knowledge can lead to errors in paperwork or understanding procedures.
    • Increased emotional stress from managing complex legal matters.
    • Time-consuming due to managing tasks typically handled by professionals.

Family Law Facilitator

  • Limitations:
    • Provides general assistance but not personalized legal advice.
    • Cannot represent you in court, limiting their level of support.


  • Limitations:
    • Assists with paperwork but cannot offer legal advice.
    • Cannot represent you in legal proceedings.

Attorney Representation

  • Benefits:
    • Provides experienced legal advice specific to your situation.
    • Represents you in court, offering skilled advocacy.
    • Handles all legal paperwork and procedures, ensuring compliance.
    • Helps navigate complex legal issues with professional know-how.

Understanding these options is key to making an informed decision about your representation in divorce proceedings. 

Ending a marriage is a life-changing event. Choosing the right divorce law firm in San Diego can make a world of difference. 

When you work with a knowledgeable family law lawyer in San Diego, you can find the path that brings you peace of mind and confidence during a challenging time. 

What is Considered Grounds for Divorce in California?

In California, there are specific legal grounds under which a marriage can be dissolved. For individuals considering divorce, it's important to know these grounds as they form the basis of the legal process. 

Irreconcilable Differences

This is the most commonly cited ground for divorce in California. It allows couples to dissolve their marriage without the need to assign blame or prove wrongdoing by either party. 

The law recognizes that a marriage can break down due to various reasons without attributing fault to either spouse. When a divorce is filed on these grounds, it implies that the couple believes their differences cannot be resolved and their marriage cannot be repaired.

Incurable Insanity

Also referred to as permanent legal incapacity to make decisions, this is a much less commonly used ground for divorce. To be granted a divorce on these grounds, there must be proof, such as reliable medical or psychiatric testimony, that one spouse was incurably insane at the time the divorce petition was filed and remains so. This is a rare circumstance in California divorces but is an available option. 

A San Diego divorce attorney can offer clarity on the grounds for divorce applicable to your case and guide you through the legal steps. 

Contact a San Diego divorce attorney for support and to help you make decisions that are right for your future.

Can a Marriage in California be Annulled? 

Nullification Due to Incest or Bigamy

Nullification for reasons of incest or bigamy represents a specific legal recourse in California where a marriage is deemed legally invalid from its inception.

  • Incest. This ground for nullification applies when the married individuals are close-blood relatives, where the marriage is prohibited by law due to the closeness of their familial relationship.
  • Bigamy. This applies when one of the spouses was already legally married to another person at the time of the marriage. Since California law mandates monogamy, a subsequent marriage while a legal marriage is still in effect is considered void.

In cases of nullification due to incest or bigamy, the marriage is treated as though it never legally existed, reflecting the state's commitment to upholding fundamental legal principles governing marriage.

Annulment (Voidable Marriages)

Annulment, or a judgment of nullity, in California, pertains to situations where a marriage is considered legally valid until it is annulled by a court. These are known as voidable marriages.

  • Underage Marriage. If one or both parties were underage (below 18 years without parental consent) at the time of the marriage, the marriage can be annulled.
  • Prior Existing Marriage. This ground applies if one party was still legally married to another person at the time of the subsequent marriage.
  • Unsound Mind. A marriage can be annulled if one party is of unsound mind or incapable of understanding the nature of the marriage contract at the time of the marriage.
  • Fraud or Force. Marriages entered into due to fraud (deception about something vital to the relationship) or force (coercion or threats) can be annulled.

Annulments under these conditions signify that the marriage, while initially considered valid, contained elements that, upon discovery or challenge, render it voidable and eligible for annulment by the court.

Contact a San Diego Divorce Attorney at Doppelt and Forney

At Doppelt and Forney, we understand that the decision to pursue a divorce is never taken lightly. It involves navigating through a significant life change, and we are here to support you with professional guidance every step of the way. 

Our approach to family law representation is rooted in providing personalized, empathetic, and professional legal services to our clients in San Diego.

With over three decades of experience, our team is armed to handle the complexities of your case, whether it involves child custody, asset division, or spousal support. 

Divorce Lawyers Doppelt Forney

We know that every situation is unique, and we tailor our services to meet your individual needs and goals.

We also recognize the importance of clear and timely communication. Keeping you informed and involved is a priority for us, and we ensure that your concerns are addressed promptly and effectively. 

Our commitment is to make this process as smooth and comfortable as possible for you.

As part of our services, we offer a free, confidential 30-minute consultation with an experienced divorce attorney. 

This initial meeting is an opportunity for you to discuss your situation, understand your legal options, and see how we can work together to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

We invite you to reach out to us, your San Diego divorce attorneys at Doppelt and Forney. Let us be your advocates and guides during this challenging time. 

Contact us by calling (858) 312-8500 or reaching out to a San Diego divorce lawyer online for your consultation. Take the first step toward a new beginning today.