If you are in the initial stages of divorce or are considering a divorce in California, preparing for it can help you navigate the legal process more easily. Knowing what to expect can help you feel more confident when filing for divorce. Here are some important facts to keep in mind when planning to file for divorce in the Golden State.
California Divorces Are No-Fault
In the state of California, all divorces are considered to be no-fault. This means that neither party is required to show cause for the divorce. Spousal support and the division of property will typically remain the same regardless of allegations of infidelity, abuse, or abandonment. This can often streamline the divorce process in the state of California.
A Residency Period Is Required
In most cases, at least one of the parties to the divorce must have resided in California for six months or more before filing for the divorce. Because divorces are filed at the county level, you or your former partner will also be required to have lived in the county for three months prior to filing for divorce in that county.
Explore the Methods of Divorce in California
There are several different ways in which you can approach the divorce process in California:
- Summary dissolution is a simplified form of divorce that is available to couples who have been married for less than five years, have no children and who own no real estate or major assets. If both parties to the divorce agree not to seek spousal support, the couple will then divide assets and debts and go their separate ways.
- Self-represented divorces occur when both parties to the divorce agree to represent themselves and determine the division of assets and debts on their own. Child custody can also be agreed upon by the parties as a joint effort.
- Traditional divorce proceedings can require extensive time in court and out of court for divorcing couples and their attorneys. This can be an expensive option for couples seeking a divorce in the state of California.
- Mediated divorce proceedings are best suited for couples who are willing to work cooperatively to hash out any issues with the help of a professional mediator. While a mediator cannot force couples to agree to terms, they can provide the benefits of experience and perspective to help couples arrive at mutually beneficial solutions for the issues involved in their divorce proceedings.
Think About Which Process Is Right for You
If you and your soon-to-be-former spouse are still on relatively good terms, a mediated divorce process may be a more effective and time-saving choice for you. If domestic violence or anger issues are present in your relationship, however, you may do better with a traditional divorce. Discussing your situation in-depth with your divorce attorney is usually a solid step toward determining whether a mediated divorce or a traditional courtroom divorce is the most appropriate choice for you.
Making a plan for navigating your divorce can provide you with an added sense of confidence when dealing with the legal and personal aspects of these cases. Working with a professional attorney is usually the best course of action when planning for your divorce in California.