Divorce proceedings decide the outcome of many different aspects of your life and your spouse’s life
California and Los Angeles County courts decide the following in a divorce or separation:
All of these matters can have a massive impact on your future. That is why it is important to have an experienced and certified family law specialist you can trust on your side throughout the process.
What Are Grounds for Divorce in California?
No-Fault Divorce State
Like many other states, California is a no-fault divorce state. This means that when a couple wants to file for divorce, neither spouse must prove any fault of the other spouse for the court to grant the divorce. One spouse must simply claim “irreconcilable differences” and that the marriage is beyond repair. Both spouses do not need to agree on this matter for the divorce to be successful. Only one spouse needs to state it.
Furthermore, many no-fault divorce states allow the couple to present “faults” of the other spouse in order to help determine other matters such as property division, child support, child custody, etc. In California though, the courts don’t take those factors into consideration. This makes it a “pure” no-fault divorce state.
Another ground for divorce is “legal incapacity” or “incurable insanity”. This is rarely used as the burden of proof is high and it requires more time in court and more legal expenses.
California also allows married couples to file for legal separation. This follows most of the processes of divorce (property division, child custody, etc.), but the couple will remain legally married. This allows them to live their lives as if they were divorced but maintain many of the benefits that marriage offers (insurance, veteran’s benefits, social security benefits, etc.)
What Are The Residency Requirements for a California Divorce?
California Family Code § 2320 outlines the residency requirements for a couple who wishes to get a divorce in California.
The residency requirements are as follows:
- One spouse must have resided in the state for a minimum of six months.
- That spouse must have resided in the county where the divorce is filed for at least three months.
Exceptions to this rule exist for marriages being annulled, legal separation, and those in a same-sex civil union or domestic partnership. While the Defense of Marriage act has been overturned, allowing for same-sex marriage and divorce in any state, couples who opted for a civil union or domestic partnership arrangement before the historic ruling can still run into legal issues when separating.
Those in a same-sex non-marriage partnership must have entered into their formal relationship in California in order to apply for divorce. In some cases, if a same-sex couple’s current state of residency refuses to grant the divorce, then California may grant it instead.
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