divorce in california process is an important (and sometimes difficult) step that requires preparation and planning. If you have decided to get divorced in the state of California whenever you understand some basic principles. Read on to learn everything you need to know about getting divorced in California.

In this post, we will cover some topics such as:

  • Difference Between Divorce, Separation, and Annulment
  • residency requirement
  • California is a “No-Fault” state
  • The Community Property System

Difference Between Divorce, Separation, and Annulment

There are three basic ways to end a marriage in California: divorce, legal separation, and annulment. Here are the differences between them:

  • Divorce. Also called a “dissolution of marriage,” a divorce ends a marriage or domestic partnership, allowing you to remarry or be in a domestic partnership again.
  • Legal separation. This option does NOT end the marriage, so it does not allow you to remarry or be in a new domestic partnership. Either way, a legal separation allows you to ask a court to make the same orders that are issued after a divorce (such as property division, child support, or a restraining order).
  • Annulment. Also called “nullity of marriage,” or “nullity of domestic partnership,” it occurs when a court says your marriage is not legally valid. Some reasons for annulment include incestuous, bigamist, or fraudulent marriages. Keep in mind that overrides are difficult to prove and are rarely obtained.

residency requirement

One of the most important factors to consider when preparing for a divorce in California is that there is a residency requirement. This means that the following two conditions must be met:

  • Or you or your spouse must have lived in California for the last six months.
  • Or you or your spouse must have lived in the county where you plan to get divorced for the past three months.

Same-sex couples are an exception to this rule. If a same-sex couple married in California resides in a state that does not sanction same-sex marriage, the spouses may divorce in California without meeting the above requirements.

Divorce in California process is a “No-Fault” state

When it comes to divorce, California is a “no-fault” state. This means that to get a divorce in California, you do NOT need to prove that the other person did anything wrong.

Before 1970, anyone who wanted a divorce had to prove their reasons in court. Obviously, this was a long and sometimes agonizing process. The elimination of this requirement has simplified the divorce, making it more bearable for the spouses.

Since California became the first no-fault state in 1969, most states have incorporated this idea in some form into their laws.

The Community Property System

Another important feature of the California divorce process is the Community Property System. In a nutshell, this means that each spouse owns one-half of the community property and is responsible for one-half of the debts. This determines how things are divided, so that upon divorce, each spouse gets half of everything.

The term “property” or “property” includes savings, wages, and assets obtained or earned during the marriage. Inheritances, gifts, and property obtained before the marriage are excluded.

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