Divorce laws are under the family law which governs the body of statutes as well as cases where legal responsibilities are negotiated between individuals that share domestic relationships. Family relationships, treatment of children, division of property, adoption, domestic violence, spousal support, and other related economic matters are a few factors of family law. Divorce is the most common reason people end up in the family court. It is one of the three main ways of ending marriages or registered domestic partnerships in California aside from legal separation and annulment. Divorce is a complex process that includes agreements for alimony, visitation rights, child custody, and child support. As such, a divorce attorney plays an important role in ironing out the kinks in the divorce process.
In filing for divorce, any spouse or partner can decide to terminate their marriage despite the disagreement of the other party. Divorce cases will continue to prosper even if the spouse or partner does not participate in the case and will then be deemed as an uncontested divorce.
A “no-fault divorce” is applied in California which means that no grounds for divorce are necessary for you to be eligible to file divorce. If your spouse is violent or has abandoned the family, the family court will consider those circumstances in the awarding of alimony and distribution of property. If the partner is a gambler and has wasted the conjugal property or marital funds, the court may order the reimbursement of such. Some acts that may be considered by the judge include:
- Conviction of felony
- Abandonment for at least 1 year<
- Sexual abuse
- Living apart for at least 2 years or 1 year after legal separation
- Drug or alcohol abuse
“Irretrievably broken” is the legal way of saying that you and your spouse cannot live together anymore because you do not get along and your marriage is irreparable.
Classes for Domestic Violence
California Domestic Violence Laws make it a crime when harm or threat to harm is initiated to an intimate partner. Assault and battery are the most common domestic violence offenses and if a person is convicted of it, a Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP) will be a part of their terms for probation and it will compose of 52 weekly domestic violence classes.
Residency Requirement in California
To be able to file a divorce, at least one spouse must be residing in California for 6 months. The paperwork will be delivered to the other spouse once a divorce is filed and before the divorce is finalized, another waiting period of six months starts from the time the spouse has received the papers. An additional requirement is that you must also live in the county where you filed the divorce petition for at least three months before filing.
No common-law marriages are allowed in California. If you do not have a marriage license and did not enter into a legal relationship, you are not considered as married and you are not able to file for divorce because marriage is a requisite regardless of how long you and your partner lived together or lived as husband and wife.
Dividing the Marital Property
A community property system is applied in California where every property and debt acquired during the time of marriage are shared equally when dissolution is filed. Everything you owned is included like all kinds of income, savings, and property. The separate property of the spouses acquired before the marriage that may come from gifts, inheritances, and property are excluded from the equation.
There are three crucial steps in the property division process:
- Determining whether a property is community or separate
- Agreeing on the value of the community property
- Deciding the distribution of property
You can choose to handle your property division or let the court do it for you but getting the services of a divorce lawyer is highly advised.
Child Custody and Child Support
In cases where the marriage resulted in having children, the family court will decide on who will receive custody based on the best interest of the child. The courts however encourage joint custody arrangements where the child gets frequent and continued contact with both parents. The parenting plan can be made by the parents and will then be subject to the approval of the court. Support of the children is also included based on the income and resources of the parents.
Need Legal Help?
If you are considering divorce, there are a lot of major things that you may have to consider. Divorce cases are often stressful because of the need to deal with relatives and the divorce law can be very complex. We at Law Offices of Marc Grossman will provide our experienced divorce lawyers to guide you through the difficult legal and emotional process of the family court. We will open possible options specific to your case and help you understand the law and its applicability to your situation. If you want to know your rights and the property or support you are entitled to, our divorce attorneys will provide help on these issues. Call us now for a free legal consultation.