Guide to divorce in california

There are many factors that require evidence to help the court determine whether support should be awarded and for how long. These factors are also considered when an existing order is modified after the entry of the Divorce judgment. California Code Section outlines the factors that contribute to a Spousal Support order. Evidence would need to be produced to argue these and other factors.

Temporary spousal support is much easier to obtain than a more permanent order and for this reason, it is important to have a thorough conversation with the Attorney so that appropriate expectations are set. It is best to be as accurate as possible regarding the family financial situation.

Assets such as real estate, retirement and investment funds as well as other assets may be considered community property and as such may be divided as part of the Divorce. Debts may also be divided depending on the type of debt and when they were acquired. Every Attorney will want to know this information and will advise you based on this information.

Likewise, it is best to make copies of retirement or investment accounts, mortgage information, life insurance and health plans as well as other assets such jewelry or art etc. Community property in California refers to property that is acquired after the date of marriage and prior to the date of separation. Community property can also be property that was separate at one time and then one party voluntarily transferred the asset into the names of both parties during the marriage.

The parties can agree on a standard division or something different. The Attorney would prepare a Marital Settlement Agreement or a Stipulated Judgment which states the agreed upon terms and conditions of the division of assets and debts. The purpose of these documents is to protect against fraud. Discovery includes notices to produce, interrogatories, requests for admissions, depositions and subpoenas. These legal procedures are costly and time-consuming. It is always best to try to be cooperative. If the parties agree, then the debt can be shared according to their agreement.

However, in a contested Divorce the court would determine who should pay each of the debt. This would include real estate, cars, investment funds, bank accounts etc. If the parties agree as to what is separate and what is community as well as what is partially so then the court will not need to see proof of transactions. The Attorney can also alert the client of anything that may seem problematic. When the parties are in agreement regarding a Child Support payment, there would be no need to file for a temporary order in the Family Court.

One party would pay the agreed upon child support payment voluntarily. In this case the Divorce would be finalized by agreement and in most cases a court appearance would not be necessary. In addition, childcare costs are usually divided equally between the parties. There may be other hardship reasons. Generally speaking, the court does not look at the expenses of the parties to determine support.

When there is a Child Support Services order, the issue of child support will be handled by that court and not the Family court. When children are involved in a Divorce , issues such as custody, visitation and support need to be addressed. The court would prefer that both parents be involved in important decisions regarding the children. Joint legal custody means that both parents have the right to make decisions regarding education, religion as well as healthcare with a provision for equal access to medical and school records.

Physical custody means where the children live primarily.

California Divorce Process Explained - Step by Step Guide | L.A.W

Typically, children live primarily with one parent and the other parent has visitation rights. Some parents agree to joint physical custody. The parties can agree on these issues and finalize the Divorce with a Marital Settlement Agreement or Stipulated Judgment. There may be other child issues depending on the particular situation.

All issues would need to be addressed in an agreement in order to finalize the Divorce without going to court. If the parties cannot agree on child issues then there may be a need for temporary orders while the Divorce is in progress. For this, a Request for Order would be filed and a hearing would take place.

An Attorney can advise you as to what kind of custody and visitation you can expect. Other child issues are health insurance, life insurance as well as tax issues. Generally, the court will order one parent to maintain a health insurance policy for the children as long as the cost is reasonable.

California Uncontested Divorce

In many cases, the parent maintains the policy by way of employment or union affiliation. Deductibles and non-coverable expenses are usually shared equally between the parties.

This would ensure that, in the event of the death of the party paying child support, a life insurance pay out would substitute for the child support payment. In some cases the children will be listed as the beneficiary of the life insurance and in this case the custodial parent would have to petition the Probate court for access to the money for the benefit of the minors.

Another issue is the determination of which parent should be allowed to claim the minor s for state and federal income tax purposes. Sometimes parents will elect to claim the children on alternate years, or, if more than 1 child, split the children so that one or more can be claimed each year.

However, in most cases the custodial parent will want to claim the children for tax purposes. It should be noted that both parents can agree on these important issues and the Attorney would prepare a Marital Settlement Agreement or Stipulated Judgment to this effect. Get Legal Advice 2. Try to Cooperate and Agree with Your Spouse 3. Know the Available Attorney Choices in California 4.

The differences between divorce, annulment and legal separation

Once you understand the way that the courts and Attorneys look at Divorce and you have gathered the information needed, it is time to get sound legal advice. Second, keep in mind that you have to file in a specific county within the state. To be eligible to file in any county in California, at least one of the spouses must have lived in that county for three months before filing for divorce.


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All divorces in California are no-fault. Thus, the party who asks for the divorce does not have to give a reason or prove that he or she was wronged by the other spouse. You have to follow certain steps to get divorced in California. To start the process for a divorce, one of the two spouses must file in superior court in the county where he or she meets the residency requirements. The petitioner is the spouse who files for divorce. The petitioner must serve the other spouse, known as the respondent, with copies of the petition to divorce as well as any other relevant paperwork.

From there, the divorce could go a number of ways. The simplest route is one in which both parties represent themselves and come up with a plan for the division of property and childcare without involving lawyers. If that is not possible, you can undergo a mediation. A mediator does not have the force of law to make couples agree to terms, but a mediator can help a couple work through difficult issues. The most time-consuming and expensive option is a divorce trial. This will require each party to have a lawyer. It will involve discovery from both sides, and a judge will reach the final decision on the terms of the divorce.

To qualify for a summary dissolution, a couple must meet the following criteria:. If these criteria are met, the couple must then draw up and sign an agreement dividing property and debts. Can I get spousal support? What factors will a judge consider? What are the basic steps for filing for divorce?