Let Us Help You Through the Divorce Process
Going through a divorce is one of the most significant challenges one could ever face. If you and your spouse have decided it is time to go your separate ways and wish to end your marriage, reach out to Giammichele Law, APC . Our Laguna Woods divorce lawyer is here to help you pursue a fair settlement.
Residency Requirements for Divorce in California
Although some states require that certain grounds be met before a divorce can be filed for, California is a no-fault divorce state. This means that neither spouse needs to prove that the other spouse committed some type of wrongdoing. In addition, one party may file for divorce even if the other party does not want a divorce.
However, prior to filing for divorce in California, you will need to meet a residency requirement. There are two main requirements pertaining to residency, including:
- At least one spouse must have been a resident of California for a minimum of six months before filing for divorce
- At least one spouse must have lived for three months in the county where the couple files for divorce
Contested Divorce Vs. Uncontested Divorce
In California, there are two main types of divorce: contested and uncontested.
The settlement phase is usually where couples find the most friction, causing divorces to be considered contested. Judges always advocate for spouses to find common ground, but this is not always possible.
The main causes of friction during divorce settlements include:
When an agreement cannot be reached on one or more of these divorce-related issues, the divorce is considered contested. Contested divorces are the most complicated divorce cases.
Once the divorce is filed, spouses have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is complete. Everything from hiring an attorney to pretrial motions, settlement proposals, and trials have to take place before a judge in the family law court is able to make decisions on the divorce.
The judge will make a decision on the contested issues and issue a decree that will be binding on each party the moment the divorce is finalized. This type of divorce is often very time consuming and costly.
An uncontested divorce means that both spouses have agreed upon all matters involving alimony, child support, division of assets, and debt. The couple will still need to draft an agreement and submit it to the court for final approval, but they will not need to appear before a judge.
This form of divorce is much more desirable for couples. It is much quicker, there is no need to go to court, and it is much less expensive. This type of divorce enables the spouses to remain in control of the decisions made during the divorce. It will also allow for the divorce to be completed in a faster, more cost-efficient manner.
Even though an uncontested divorce does not require an attorney, hiring one can still assist to make for an even smoother process.
What Does “No-Fault” Mean in a Divorce?
California is a no-fault state for divorce. This simply means that the spouse asking for the divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse committed any wrongdoing against them to warrant the separation. There are other states that require a reason to file for a divorce, such as adultery or domestic violence, but this is not required in the state of California.
In most cases, the reason for no-fault divorces is typically referred to as “irreconcilable differences.” This means that a couple is unable to get along or agree on any matter during their marriage.
How Long Does the Divorce Process Take?
The length of the divorce process in California is also determined by whether or not you and your spouse find an agreement.
- If the divorce is not contested by either party, the divorce process can take around six months
- If a divorce is contested, it can take anywhere from six to twelve months
The length of a contested divorce can also depend on the complexity of each case, especially when issues of alimony and child custody/support are involved.
It is also possible for a divorce to be processed in one day. If you and your spouse wish to separate and have an agreement today, you can secure a future date to change your marriage status. There is a 6 month period between when you file until the family court can legally change your status from "married" to "single",
How Much Does it Cost to File for Divorce?
The fee to file for a divorce in California is $435. Should your spouse wish to respond to the complaint, they must also pay the same amount of $435. If you are unable to afford the cost to file, however, you may be able to have your fees waived.
Entrust Your Divorce to Our Lawyer
We understand the toll that a complicated divorce can take on all parties involved. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can ensure that your divorce goes as smoothly and quickly as possible. Our legal team can help you file error-free paperwork, conduct negotiations with your spouse, and prepare a strong case for trial if necessary. If you have decided to file for divorce in California, or you have been served divorce papers, contact us immediately to discuss your next steps.