california divorce rules

Sometimes, marriages don’t work out. When that happens, it may be time to file the paperwork for a divorce. In California, a dissolution of marriage will allow very specific laws. If you want to know the rules for divorce in California, here is everything you need to consider. 

Grounds for Divorce

California is known as a no-fault divorce state. What does that mean? If you want to get a divorce, you don’t have to prove that the other partner did anything wrong. You can list “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the dissolution of the marriage. 

Before you can file any official paperwork, one spouse must have lived in California for at least six months and in the filing county for at least three months. If you don’t meet those requirements, your divorce cannot proceed. 

Divorce Petition

After you have met the residency requirement, you will file the paperwork in the appropriate court. You will need to include specific information, such as the parties’ names, date of marriage, date of separation, number of children, and a proposal for dividing property. 

Once that is finished, the person who files is known as the petitioner, with the other person is called the respondent. They will receive a summons to appear in court. Under California law, they must respond to the petition within 30 days. 

Financial Disclosures and Property Division Rules

During this time, both parties must disclose their financial information, such as income, expenses, assets, and debts. Also, there must be a listing of all property the spouses own. 

Since California is a community property state, any property acquired during the marriage is community property. Following the laws, this property must be equally divided between the two parties.

However, if a spouse owned property before the marriage, that is considered their separate property. The same will apply if one spouse receives a gift or inheritance during the marriage. 

Other Issues

If the couple has minor children, then a decision must be made regarding custody and support. In all cases, the courts will consider their best interest. Under the law, both parents are required to be financially responsible for the child’s welfare. 

Child support is not the only financial matter to settle. Sometimes, one spouse may require support from the other. The duration and amount will depend on the following:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The earning capacity of each partner
  • Standard of living

Finalizing the Divorce

After reaching an agreement, the divorce will be finalized once a judge signs it. Under California law, there is a mandatory waiting period. You can only finalize your divorce six months after the respondent has served the paperwork. Unfortunately, there are no expedited times to finalize a divorce. Everyone must wait for the six month period. 

How Do These Laws Apply to You?

What are the rules for divorce in California? If you are planning to file, there are many procedures and laws to follow. You will want to learn all these rules before starting the process. Reach out to a family law attorney to guide you during this time. 

If you need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney, contact the Roberts & Zatlin Family Law Firm. For over 35 years, we have provided thorough family law services throughout California. 

Our office in Temecula extends its services to Menifee, Hemet, Sun City, Lake Elsinore, Winchester, Wildomar, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, Vista, San Diego, Inland Valley, and all other parts of the state. To schedule a consultation today and receive a free initial assessment of your case, please call (951) 381-8147 today.

Similar Posts