Sometimes couples try everything but just can’t make their marriages work. Many consider divorce. But just making the decision to end their relationship is only the beginning. California divorce laws regulate how the process is handled, including issues related to the following frequently asked questions.
#1. Is there a residency requirement for a California divorce?
Yes. At least one of the parties must meet these two requirements:
- Lived in California for the past six months, and
- Lived in the county where you plan to file your California divorce for the last three months.
If you want to file for divorce but cannot meet the residency requirement, legal separation might be an option.
#2. Can same-sex couples get divorced?
Same-sex couples who are married can get divorced. But it’s important to understand the differences between a registered domestic partnership and a same-sex marriage. A domestic partnership is registered with the State of California, while marriage involves getting a license and taking part in a ceremony.
People who want to end a domestic partnership file paperwork with the Secretary of State of California. However, divorce involves the California family courts.
Couples that are in both a domestic partnership and a marriage can end both at the same time. As with all California divorce cases, make sure you talk to an attorney before filing any paperwork.
#3. Do I have to prove infidelity in a California divorce?
No. That’s because California is a no-fault divorce state. The spouse filing for divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong. They just have to tell the court that they can no longer get along, which is sometimes called having “irreconcilable differences.”
#4. How will our property be divided?
In a California divorce, the couple’s property and debts are divided under community property laws. That means that marital property is divided roughly 50-50. However, property division can be very complicated, in part because of exceptions to the rule.
It’s also sometimes challenging to categorize something as marital property (owned by both spouses) or separate property (owned by one spouse). But the status of your property plays a huge role in how it is divided.
#5. Is legal separation recognized in California?
Yes. Legal separation is one of the three basic ways couples can use to “end” their marriage. Divorce and annulment are the other methods.
But it’s important to remember that legal separation does not completely end a marriage. Instead, the legal separation outlines legal and financial responsibilities. Legal separations often go on for years, end in reconciliation, or end with divorce.
Talk to an experienced attorney about your California divorce
You might feel your divorce will be relatively easy. However, it’s crucial to get legal advice before you take any action. And if you have children or a high net worth, it’s especially important to learn more about your options.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced at all phases of divorce, legal separation, and annulment. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website. We assist clients along California’s Northern to Southern Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin, San Jose, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.