There are times that you may be able to conclude your California divorce without a court hearing or even without hiring an attorney.
The Law Offices of Edward Misleh, APC is a Sacramento law firm, located in Sacramento, California that practices family law and represents clients in Sacramento, California and clients in Northern California with services they need and deserve when addressing all aspects of divorce. Call now our Lawyer Hotline. We offer a free consultation to all new clients. Call now 916-443-1267 for your free consultation.
Start Your California Divorce
You start your California divorce by filing a petition stating certain facts on a petition for dissolution. The California divorce petition will contain your date of marriage, date of separation, the number of years married from marriage to separation, the number of children of the marriage, and the age and birth date of each minor child of the marriage.
When starting your California divorce, you should not be making a demand for money, property, costs, or attorney’s fees.
Your California divorce commences in court when you file a copy of the petition and summons at the courthouse and serve these papers on the other party to the marriage.
To file for a California divorce, at least one spouse must be a resident of the state for six months or 180 days prior to the date of filing; and a resident of the county in which you are filing for at least three months prior to the date of filing.
Common Law Marriage
There’s no common law marriage in California. To be legally married in California, you must have obtained a marriage license, and entered into a legal relationship. You cannot get divorced unless you were legally married.
Grounds for California Divorce
The most common basis for a divorce is “irreconcilable differences” that have caused the marriage to break down. California is a no-fault state, which means that you cannot base your divorce on one spouse’s actions unless your spouse abandoned the family, misused community assets, or was violent.
California is a community property state which means that all of the property and debts acquired during your marriage are shared equally between the two of you at divorce. That includes income of all kinds, savings from income, property, and anything else that you own. However, it doesn’t include either spouse’s separate property, which includes inheritances, gifts, and property that the spouse owned before the marriage.
California courts begin with a presumption that it’s best for a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after a divorce – joint custody. However, the details of the parenting plan will be determined by the children’s best interests. If parents can agree on a parenting plan, the court will usually approve it. If you’re not able to agree, you’ll be ordered to attend mediation sessions, and if that doesn’t work, the court will take over and the judge will decide how you’ll share time with your children.
Like all states, California requires parents to support their children, even after a divorce. The amount of child support depends primarily on each parent’s income and other resources, and your parenting time – the time each parent spends with the children.
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