Family Law

The Divorce Process

In order to file for divorce in the state of California, you must meet the following residency requirements:

  • You must have been a resident of California for at least six months.
  • You must have been a resident of the county where you are filing for at least three months.

For example, if you recently relocated to Los Angeles and you are hoping to file for divorce in California Superior Court, County of Los Angeles, you will have to establish residency in Los Angeles for three months.

Once you file your divorce paperwork, you are required by law to wait six months and one day before the divorce becomes final.

California is a no-fault divorce state. This means that a court can grant the dissolution of a marriage if it finds irreconcilable differences, therefore, one spouse can end the marriage even if the other spouse does not wish to do the same. Basically, California courts do not search for fault, a divorce is granted if one party requests it. In fact, a dissolution of marriage often appears as the division of a business partnership on one side and custody, visitation and support of minors on the other side. Commonly, upon entering a divorce, our clients are interested in resolving the following issues:

Child custody

There are two types of custody, legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is about making decisions in the lives of your children, primarily in the areas of health and education. Physical custody dictates where the children physically reside and how the time is split between the parents.

Child support

Child support is basically the amount of money that one party pays to the other party to help take care of their children. Although parties have different expenses, the judge looks at a few important legal factors such as the time split of the parties and their earnings.

Community property / Division of assets

California is a community property state. In California, assets and possession accumulated between the date of marriage and the date of separation are divided between the parties.Assets, gifts, and inheritance acquired before marriage may be considered separate property. An experienced attorney can help you determine which assets must be split and which you can keep.

Spousal support

Spousal support (formerlyknownas alimony) is money given from the higher earning spouse to the lower earning spouse. Many factors are taken into consideration to determine spousal support. A few of the factors considered are the income of each spouse, whether either spouse is paying child support, assets of the parties and length of marriage.A good attorney can help you determine the right amount of support you will give or receive.