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
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.