by Paul Lerandeau, Divorce Lawyer in Fresno

Saying you want a divorce is easy. Actually getting one, however, is extremely difficult. Not because the Court process is so hard (although it is), but because the emotional trauma involved is difficult to endure. Regardless of what you say now, you loved your spouse at one time or thought you did, and those feelings run deep. I know I felt that way when I got my divorce which made the process excruciating. The whole thing felt like it dragged on for an eternity and I just didn’t want to deal with the pain anymore. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix because the process takes roughly one year.

Although I put on a brave face during my divorce, I did not act like my normal self because I was hiding my pain. I was very moody at times and overly hostile during others. I dreaded having to deal with my divorce. But when I was forced to, it was difficult to regain my ability to function. It usually took at least an hour before I could clear my mind enough to accomplish anything else.

I was very lucky my ex-wife and I did not have children together because it could have been a lot more painful. I see my clients with children having not only to deal with their own feelings but also those of their children. I am often told by parents that they have no time to think about their own feelings because they are so busy trying to help their children cope with the divorce, as well as other normal childhood issues. They are often unable to hide their pain from their children despite desperately struggling to do it.

Somehow we all seem to make it through our divorces and become much happier in life. The experience with my own personal divorce and the many years of working with clients going through divorce has helped me to learn what people really need during the process and I am always ready to provide that help. Our firm no longer just serves as the means to resolve a legal dispute. We also provide clients with all of the help they need to emotionally sustain themselves, e.g., we proactively explain what complicated paperwork really means to them, provide ways to keep the animosity with their spouse at a minimum, and suggest practical (rather than legal) ways to overcome the never-ending personal conflicts that develop during the divorce.

From a legal perspective, Divorce is the process required to end a marriage or domestic partnership. It is an actual lawsuit. Unlike other types of legal actions, however, no one needs to have done anything wrong in order to file. California is a “no-fault” state. All a spouse has to allege is that the couple cannot get along. Legally, this is called “irreconcilable differences.” There is no requirement that these differences be proven. Any spouse can decide to file a divorce even if the other spouse does not want to get one. The only thing the family court is interested in is helping spouses reach a fair agreement concerning all of the issues in their case. These issues can include child custody, child visitation, child support, spousal support, restraining orders, the division of property, and attorney’s fees. For a thorough explanation of each of these divorce law issues, please review our respective sections on each of these topics.” Paul Lerandeau, Lerandeau & Lerandeau – Divorce Lawyer Fresno.

The family court encourages parties to resolve their cases by agreement and gives those cases priority on its calendar. Couples who can amicably resolve their cases do not even have to appear in court to get a Divorce. The court will allow them to agree to almost anything as long as the legal formalities are met. These include the preparation and service of preliminary and final disclosure, joinder of all retirement plans to the case, the filing of all required forms, and notarization of required signatures, to name a few. Reaching an agreement is also the best way to reduce attorneys’ fees and stress on the family. Unfortunately, the emotions in divorce often make it very difficult for spouses to reach agreements. Divorce is a complex area of law and can take an extended period of time to resolve if the parties are either unable or unwilling to reach agreements. In such cases, the court will be the one to make the final decision. When this occurs, the parties will be forced to pay a substantial amount of attorney’s fees and costs to have a trial. In addition, a judge will not necessarily decide the case the way either party wants and may just pick a solution neither party likes or could have anticipated.

Divorce is one of three lawsuits that are utilized to terminate marital relationships. The other two are legal separation and annulment. California courts have very limited resources and the completion of a marital action can take a very significant amount of time and money. Alternatives to litigation include private judging, mediation, and collaborative law. These non-litigation alternatives can result in substantial cost and time savings and should always be considered. After the divorce is completed, the parties will be single again and can each remarry should they choose to do so. However, they will still be required to abide by any obligations imposed upon them by the Family Court, e.g., pay support. Failure to comply with orders made by the Court will trigger a plethora of legal enforcement remedies available to the aggrieved party, including, but not limited to, contempt proceedings, wage assignment, and seizures of property.



Child Custody

Spousal Support

Restraining Orders

Legal Separation

Child Visitation

Child Support


Annulment and Nullity

Grandparents Rights

Modify Court Orders

Alternatives to Divorce Court

Same Sex Marriage


Enforcing Court Orders

Limited Scope Assistance