Basics Of A Divorce In California

To obtain a no-fault divorce in California, either spouse must cite the grounds for the marital split. The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage must be filed citing one of the following reasons for the divorce, which include:

Irreconcilable Differences: The marriage has become irretrievably broken and there is no hope of reconciliation.

Incurable Insanity: One of the spouses has been diagnosed as incurably insane by a licensed medical professional at the time the divorce action was filed and he or she remains incurably insane. The family court judge may require testimony from psychiatric or medical experts.

The person filing for divorce or their respective spouse must be a resident of California for at least six months and a resident in the county where they are filing for a period of three months.


Property Division and Spousal Support
California is a community property state, which means that both parties must divide all of their assets and debts acquired during the marriage equally. If the couple is unable to reach an amicable agreement, the family court will make the decision for them. Either spouse can seek financial support and the court may grant alimony in any of the following ways:

  • Temporary alimony that will end after a set period of time
  • Rehabilitative alimony so that a spouse can learn new job skills to reenter the workforce
  • Permanent alimony usually awarded in marriages that have endured ten years or more
  • Lump sum alimony if this does not impose adverse tax implications on the receiving party
  • The financial situation of both spouses will be taken into consideration by the court when making an alimony award.


Child Custody and Support
Either parent can be awarded legal or physical custody of the children. The courts strongly urge both spouses to work out a fair parenting agreement. If they cannot agree on the terms of child custody, the court will make the decision based upon what is in the best interests of the children. In California, the amount of child support is based upon the income of both parents. The court will consider additional factors, such as how many children each parent is responsible for supporting.


When To Consult A Divorce Attorney
Going through the process of divorce is never easy and it becomes more difficult when couples cannot agree on a settlement. Whether you are the spouse seeking a divorce in California or the party that was served papers, you need legal representation. A divorce attorney can help by ensuring that the settlement is fair and that your interests are protected at all times.

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