There are a lot of ins and outs in getting a divorce in California. To guide you in this legal process, we’ve provided a few things that will help you understand what’s involved in a divorce process.
Before you or your spouse can file a divorce in California, either of you must be a resident of California for at least six months and residing in the county where you’re planning to file the divorce for at least 3 months.
Once the divorce is filed and the separation papers/divorce documents have been delivered to your spouse, you must wait a minimum of six months before the divorce proceedings can be finalized.
If there’s anything in your divorce papers that your spouse disagrees with, then they may file a “contesting the divorce” document. If this happens, you’d have to attend a series of court hearings to deal with issues in the contested divorce. If they don’t disagree with anything, then they should sign the divorce papers and send them to you or the court. This is called an “uncontested divorce. If a certain period passes and they still haven’t signed or filed the papers, then the petitioner may proceed with getting divorced; this will be classified as an uncontested divorce.
Filing for a divorce can be tricky, so it would be best to get legal help and consult with an Orange County family law attorney.
Grounds for Divorce
There is a “no-fault divorce” in California, and a dissolution of marriage or legal separation can be granted by the court if there are “irreconcilable differences” that have caused the permanent breakdown of your marriage.
However, if your spouse was violent or had abandoned your family, these may be considered in court when dividing property or when awarding alimony. If your spouse spent money on items, people, or services (i.e. marital affair or gambling) that did not benefit you or your marriage, then the court may order them to reimburse you.
Division of Property
When you get a divorce in California, the state uses a community property system which indicates that all debts and properties acquired during the marriage must be equally shared between the couple. This includes all your savings, income, property, and everything else that the couple owns. However, this doesn’t include each individual’s property before marriage such as gifts, inheritances, and property.
If you’re married and have children and you file a divorce, a family court will assume that it would be best for the children if they have frequent and consistent contact with both of their parents after divorce. However, the parenting plan (whether both parents will have shared legal custody or only one parent will have sole physical custody of the child) will be decided based on what’s best for the child.
If both parents have agreed on a parenting plan, usually the court will approve it immediately. However, if they fail to agree, mediation sessions will be held. However, if they still fail to negotiate a compromise, then a judge will decide how to divide the custody between both parents.
In terms of child support, usually, the court orders both parents to financially support the child. Child support guidelines in California determine how much each parent should give for child support. It’ll be calculated based on both parent’s income, the amount of time they spend with the child and the number of children.
If you’re planning to file for divorce and you need legal assistance, our Orange County family law attorneys can help. Consult with an experienced divorce attorney to help you save time and legal fees.
Here at Trevino Law, we can give you legal advice on issues such as legal separation, child support, custody, spousal support, and property division. Contact our Orange County divorce attorneys today for a free legal consultation.