Understanding California Divorce Laws
Divorce Requirements for California Residents
California divorce forms may easily be available on the Internet but make sure you, as a petitioner for divorce, must be able to furnish documents as evidence that you or your spouse have lived in:
- California for at least six months.
- Your filing county for the last three months.
Apart from the residency requirements in California, there’s a turnaround time of about six months for the court to decide on a divorce case.
California Grounds For Divorce
Although California is widely known as a “no-fault” divorce state, California acknowledges both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce or dissolution of marriage.
What are no-fault grounds for divorce in California?
No-fault grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences that have caused the irreversible failure of the domestic partnership or marital union. In this case, both parties need not prove each other’s culpability in the demise of the marriage.
What are the fault grounds for divorce in California?
Unlike in no-fault divorce where there are no guilty and non-guilty parties on the collapse of the marriage, in fault divorce it’s the opposite. Incurable insanity is a fault ground for divorce in California and must be substantiated with medical records and psychiatric testimony.
Child Custody Law in California
Child custody would probably be best discussed and settled within the family but if all else fails, there’s the California child custody law to protect the child’s best interests. Both parents of an unemancipated minor child are equally entitled to custody of the child unless one parent has a proven history of domestic violence or child abuse. Depending on the circumstances, the court decides if a sole or joint custody is needed.
What are some of the factors that the courts consider in custody issues?
- Health, safety and welfare of the child
The court will look into possible evidence of child abuse, neglect, domestic violence as well as substance abuse and criminal convictions. Other areas to be examined are education and the child’s general welfare.
- Nature and amount of contact with both parents
With the child’s best interests of primary importance, the court will examine each parent’s history of relationship with the child. The level of relationship or closeness between the child and the parent will have a strong consideration in California custody cases.
Guidelines for California Child Support
California adopted the Child support guidelines in 1984. A Family Law Judge or Court Commissioner bases his or her child support orders according to these guidelines.
What are some of the factors being considered in the computation of child support?
- Net income of both parents
- Time spent with the child
- Child care costs
- Healthcare costs for the child
Where to File for a Divorce?
The petitioner must file the divorce papers either in his or her county of residence, or in the county where the respondent has lived for the past three months.
For a fast and inexpensive divorce process, you can file California online divorce forms.
Refer to the “Divorce Requirements for California Residents” above and also review the best online divorce sites.
Divorce can be painstakingly expensive and distressing when not settled amicably outside the California courts. One way of preventing the nasty legal battle is through mediation. A mediator will make it easier for both parties to come up with a win-win resolution or agreement that both parties are amenable with. Before or after filing the California Divorce papers, either party may file a motion requesting mediation to resolve issues out of court.
Need information for a different state?
You may also visit the California Courts for more information