Things You Should Know About Divorce in California

DivorceOne of California’s key contributions is being the first state to implement the concept of no-fault separation. This notion allows the couple to get divorced on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, and not necessarily due to marital misconduct.

Divorce Grounds and Timeline

According to, a couple may decide that divorce is the only solution when it seems impossible to preserve the marriage. For you to file a dissolution of marriage in California, either you or your spouse must have resided in the state for at least six months prior to the filing of the divorce petition. You must also be a resident of the county where you’ve filed for at least three months before. Getting the separation finalized takes time. You have to wait for at least six months once you’ve filed the petition and served it to your spouse.

There are basically two types of divorce process in California: summary and standard dissolution.

Summary Dissolution

You’re qualified for a summary dissolution if you have fairly limited assets and debts, been married for less than five years and no children, and you don’t own a real estate property. This simpler process requires only a written agreement on how both of you would divide the assets. You don’t have to go to court or face a judge; just submit the documents along with the petition papers and other requirements.

Standard Dissolution

If you do not qualify for a summary dissolution, meanwhile, you have to go through the typical legal process of separation. One party files a petition and the other has 30 days to file a response. Either one can request for temporary court orders, wherein the judge enforces the temporary child custody, support, or restraining orders. You then go through the discovery process or exchange of information and documents.

After the disclosure, you and your spouse, along with your lawyers, must discuss certain agreements for the settlement. In case both parties agree to it, they have to sign a Marital Settlement Agreement that contains all of the terms. Otherwise, the case has to go to court until both parties reach an agreement.

Divorce is perhaps the most complex legal process. It is only necessary to consult an attorney to make the process less taxing and get a more probable settlement agreement.