What to Know About Divorcing in California

What to Know About Divorcing in California

No person in their right mind wants to deal with divorce. However, there are some situations where divorce is necessary. There are many different reasons for people to get a divorce. If you are a California resident and about to divorce your spouse, this guide will help you understand the state’s divorce process.

Reasons for Divorcing your Spouse in California

The state of California will allow you to divorce your spouse simply because you no longer want to be married to them. You don’t have to prove that they did anything. You can simply go before a judge and say that you no longer want to be married to someone. You will eventually be divorced. California also allows you to divorce your spouse if they have (or you have) incurable insanity.

California Law: How to Legally End a Divorce

California Courts outline three specific ways to end a legally binding marriage within the state. A person can:

  • Divorce their spouse - this will legally end a marriage.

  • Become legally separated - this allows a couple to live apart but continue to remain legally married

  • Get an annulment - this ends a marriage, but it also removes any legal record that the marriage ever existed.

These are the only three ways that a marriage can be eliminated according to California law.

Starting the Process

You will have to file for divorce to start the process. To carry out this process, you will have to file your divorce in the right county. Then you will have to fill out the paperwork. Your next step is to file a summons for your partner to appear. Serve your court papers to your spouse. Fill out your financial disclosure forms, and then you must wait for your partner’s response to your request to divorce.

Your Spouses Response is Very Important

Your spouse has up to 30 days to respond to your summons for divorce. If they agree with your request, you can both go forward with ending the marriage. However, if they don’t agree, they can contest your divorce. Contested divorces usually require both parties to work things out in a process called mediation.

If both parties cannot work things out, they will then go before a judge to decide their situation in a trial. The key to avoiding a trial in divorce is for both partners to agree on everything. However, if a spouse doesn’t respond within thirty days, a judge will usually render a no-fault divorce and end the marriage on the petitioner’s terms. A family law attorney can help you to navigate this process.

California Child Custody Laws

There are two types of custody in California:

  • Legal custody - this is who makes important decisions for your children (like health care, religion, education, and welfare)

  • Physical custody - this means who your children live with

Legal custody can be joint, where both parents share responsibility and the right to make important decisions for their children. Or, legal custody can be sole, meaning only one parent has this right.

Physical custody can also be joint or sole. Children will live with both parents if they have joint physical custody. Typically, the time spent with both parents is not completely equal. Instead, children will spend more time with one parent as it is easier. With sole physical custody, one parent has the children more than half the time and is sometimes called the primary custodial parent. In this situation, the other parent will most likely have visitation time with their children.

A skilled child custody attorney will tell you that California’s courts look for what will be in the best interest of the child. Courts want to protect children. However, they are not big on separating families for no good reason.

Parents that have physically or mentally harmed members of their immediate family or anyone in their household usually don’t get to see their kids unsupervised. However, parents that are financially stable and have a good work history will often be able to get custody.

Parents can agree on custody through mediation. If parents cannot decide on custody issues through mediation, they have the option to take the matter to court, where a judge will make a custody order. With the help of a Murrieta family law attorney, custody issue less confusing and less of a hassle.

Other Considerations for Divorce

Child support, spousal support, dividing assets, and dividing up debt are other considerations involved in a divorce. Courts might have to decide these matters as well. It is in your best interest to have a family law attorney on your side to guide you through these issues. You shouldn’t have to go through your divorce by yourself. The seasoned family law attorney at the Law Offices of Michael D. Iverson is here to help you. Having a child custody attorney on your side can not only increase your chances of having the best outcome in your divorce, but they can also protect your rights throughout the process.

If you need help with your Murrieta divorce, call the Law Offices of Michael D. Iverson today at (951) 418-2770.

 

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