Divorce in California can be quite complicated, and if you are divorcing in Orange County, it’s absolutely imperative to have the advice and services of an experienced Orange County divorce lawyer. The rules and procedures for a California dissolution apply equally to opposite-sex and same-sex married couples and to registered domestic partners. Here’s a brief overview.
The law in California is “no-fault” divorce. Neither partner must prove that the other is “at-fault.” Either partner may obtain a divorce for irreconcilable differences. At least one partner must reside in this state for six months before he or she can file for dissolution, and that partner must live for at least three months in the county where the filing takes place. A divorce in California will take at least six months from the date when the non-filing partner is served with the petition for divorce. Property acquired during the marriage is considered community property and will be divided equitably by the court unless the divorcing partners can reach their own agreement. One partner may also be required to provide spousal support – “alimony” – to the other after a divorce.
When the divorcing partners are parents, the non-custodial parent is typically expected to provide child support payments until a child reaches his or her 18th birthday. California judges adhere to specific guidelines when determining child support amounts, and California aggressively enforces child support orders. Child custody is determined by what a court considers the best interests of the child. To have a child custody order modified after a divorce, you must show the court that a circumstance has significantly changed and that a modification will be in the child’s best interests. What you’ve read here is the most basic description of what happens in a dissolution in California. For the detailed advice and legal representation you’ll need in a California dissolution proceeding, speak right away with an experienced Orange County divorce lawyer.