West Coast Divorce
California is a big state with more people than any other in the country; it is also in the news quite often for the numerous celebrity marriages and divorces that take place there. Despite its image as a hotbed of marital distractions, California does not have the highest measured divorce rate in the nation, Nevada wins that contest. However, California could have the highest divorce rate in the country, but it would be a hard statistic to prove, since the state is one of four in the nation, along with Colorado, Indiana and Louisiana, that do not keep track of divorce totals and they don’t publish any definitive counts either.
Whatever the total number of divorces might be, in a state with nearly 40 million residents, there are a lot of divorces occurring all the time. Californians can get a divorce with or without the agreement of their spouse if they have been a resident of the state for six months and they file an official Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. If you want to get remarried in California you’ll have to file a Petition for Dissolution based on irreconcilable differences that have resulted in a breakdown of your marriage. Abandonment and abuse are sometimes cited as well. Incurable insanity is considered appropriate grounds for divorce in California, but infrequently used.
If both husband and wife can come to mutual agreement on property settlements as well as any custody or support issues, they can get divorced fairly quickly without a court trial in California. In cases where the spouses cannot agree on the main elements of a divorce, the case will go to court and a judge will make the appropriate rulings on property, custody and child support orders, as well as any orders to determine who will pay any outstanding debts. California is a community property state and that means all assets and debts that were acquired during the divorce will be divided equally at the time of divorce. Anything you may have acquired prior to marriage in California will be considered as separate property and will not be divided in half. Any property or money inherited from family will be considered separate property as long as it has not been commingled with community property during the course of the marriage.
The California divorce courts will decide all alimony, child custody and child support arrangements based on what is in the best interests of the family and the dependant children. The courts will take the financial situations of both spouses into consideration, including the marriage history and the needs of all parties before making any rulings. The main goal of California divorce law is to reduce any negative impacts for children whenever possible. If the parents cannot agree on child custody and support issues, the divorce court will make the final determination for them. Court orders can be modified after the divorce is finalized, but only if a change in circumstances that justifies the modification is proven to have occurred.
Completing a divorce in California can be accomplished with or without the services of a divorce attorney. In complex or bitterly contested battles, it can be a difficult process to attempt to do it on your own without help from a lawyer. In simple, uncontested cases, you can probably handle the divorce by yourself with the aid of a divorce document service. For the more lengthy and complex cases, you’ll probably need the services and advice of a professional to help guide you through the procedures and paperwork of a California divorce.