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Understanding California divorce basics

Preparing for the end of a marriage can be challenging but it can also be helpful to be prepared for the divorce process and know what to expect to help achieve a smoother divorce. It is helpful to be aware that California is considered a no-fault divorce state and couples can divorce simply based on irreconcilable differences. The family law court realizes that the divorcing couple will have some rebuilding to do following divorce so it helps them reach a fair divorce settlement that places both former spouses in the best position to do that.

During the divorce process, the family law court will help the divorcing couple address important divorce-related concerns and issues including property division and the division of debts; spousal or partner support; child support; and child custody and visitation. Additional issues such as fees for representation or domestic violence concerns can also be addressed. It is also helpful for couples to have a reasonable expectation regarding the timeline for their divorce.

In California, there is a waiting period to divorce so that the divorce process with take at least 6 months. The divorce process may take longer depending on the couple, their circumstances and the issues and concerns they need to resolve but it cannot take less than 6 months to receive the divorce decree. There are also residency requirements to file for divorce in California and either of the spouses must have lived in California for 6 months preceding the divorce to file for divorce here. In addition, one of the spouses must have lived in the county where they plan to file for at least 3 months preceding the divorce.

The family law process provides many resources to help divorcing couples through the divorce process when they have decided to end their marriage. It is best for them to be familiar with the technical aspects of the process and also how it can help them with all of their divorce-related concerns so that they can pursue a positive future following divorce.

Source: California Courts, "Options to End Marriage or Domestic Partnership," Accessed Oct. 6, 2017

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