Getting Divorced in California? Here’s What You Need to Know

Whether you are thinking about filing for divorce or you have just been served with divorce papers, you are about to go through one of the most difficult times of your life. Even when the decision has been a mutual agreement between both parties, it is still frustrating and defeating. First, all states have different laws and requirements concerning divorce, and you are required to adhere to them.

So, are you getting divorced in California? Here’s what you need to know before commencing the legal process so you can smoothly finalize the divorce and start a new life.

The Date of Separation

Many couples separate for months or even years and then decide to get a divorce. In California, the date of separation is crucial when it comes to property division. Any property that was acquired before the separation is deemed community property and will be considered during the property division. Any property acquired by either party after the separation is considered separate property. Therefore, it is important to have a clear record of the day of separation, especially if you or your ex acquired property after this period.

No-Fault Divorce

California was the first state to adopt the “no-fault divorce.” No-fault divorce means that a court of law can dissolve a marriage without requiring any proof of fault from either party. There doesn’t have to be cases such as infidelity, abuse, or any other fault to get divorced. Therefore, if you wish to file for a divorce due to irreconcilable differences or an irreparable breakdown of the marriage, the court will grant the divorce.

Residency Requirement

Before filing a divorce in California, at least one spouse must be a resident of the state for six months, or 180 days. After filing the divorce, you are required to present the paperwork to your ex-partner and wait six months to finalize the divorce. If any issues arise, for instance, if one party does not agree to the terms of the divorce, the process can drag on even further. That’s why it’s a good idea to find a divorce attorney in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, so that they can handle all the legal paperwork and issues arising from the divorce.

Marriage Dissolution Process

A couple that has been married less than five years and has limited property and no kids usually has a simple and straightforward divorce. If there are no disagreements, the parties don’t even have to go through the court process. However, if you have kids, own a lot of property, have shared debt, and have been married a long time, you must follow due process. This process comprises the following steps:

  • One party files for divorce and serves their partner with the paperwork
  • The respondent gets thirty days to respond to the petition
  • Either party can request temporary court orders such as child support, restraining orders, and child custody
  • Both parties exchange information and paperwork that is relevant to the divorce
  • Both parties and their attorneys discuss the settlement and other related issues
  • After agreeing on the settlement, the couple signs a marital settlement agreement and finalizes the divorce

If the parties don’t agree to the terms of the divorce, the case will proceed to trial where a judge will hear the case and make a ruling, which may favor one party over the other; the ruling is usually final.

Final Thoughts

Getting a divorce is an arduous process, and it can be simple or complicated depending on issues surrounding the divorce and the ability of both parties to come to a mutual agreement. It is important to seek the services of a divorce attorney so that they can offer valuable legal advice during the settlement. If the case proceeds to trial, an attorney will ensure that your interests are represented in court.

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