Divorce in California

Updated: Nov 13, 2020

Deciding to get divorced is not easy; that we know. And it becomes even harder if you

have to go through it alone; find lawyer. Before you do, here's an overview of the entire


To be eligible;

- One of the spouses must have lived in California six months before the filing.

- One of the spouses must have lived in the country they plan to file for divorce for at

least three months before the filing.

Residency requirements are waived for same-sex marriages. For same-sex marriages,

couples who married in California but live in a state that does not dissolve a same-sex

marriage can file for divorce in California. However, if neither of the parties lives in

California, the court will not make orders on issues like property, debt, and partner support.

Your lawyer (link to website) will offer in-depth advice.

Before we get to the process, do you know grounds for divorce in California? Grounds for

divorce vary across states, making this information necessary.

Grounds For Divorce

California is a no-fault divorce state. Spouses can separate, citing irreconcilable

differences. You don't have to point fingers or blame each other for the court to grant

divorce. This also means a spouse can be granted a divorce even if the other party is

against it.

Divorce Process

File the paperwork in court

The first step is to file a petition with the local court. Sometimes divorce may not be

necessary; you may qualify for a summary dissolution. If divorce is your only option, you

have to fill several forms and present them to the court. Your lawyer will take you through

the process. Because you'll be living apart, you can petition the court to grant you

temporary orders for issues such as child support, custody arrangements, and alimony.

Serve the non-filing spouse.

The process becomes official once the other party is served with the divorce papers.

Furnish them with copies through a neutral party(process server) who is over the age of 18

years. The process server must sign a Proof of Service Sermons. These summonses will

be filed in court to make the divorce official.

Response by the non-filing spouse

There are two types of divorce;

1. Contested divorce - The non-filing spouse is unhappy with the terms of the divorce.

They will have less than 30 days from the date of service to respond to the divorce

papers. In this instance, the court goes to a hearing. A contested divorce takes at

least six months.

2. Uncontested divorce - The spouses agree on the terms and avoid the court

process. In this type of divorce, the non-filing spouse ignores the summons or files

a response agreeing to the terms.

The court considering the divorce as default is the non-filing party fails to respond. The

terms proposed by the petitioner will be granted in such an instance.

Contested divorce are the most common.

Most divorce cases are contested. However, spouses are encouraged to do everything in

their power to resolve the issue; they may be ordered to attend mandatory mediation

sessions. If these good faith efforts fail, the court steps in. Either way, you need a lawyer to

ensure you get what you deserve.

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