In California, neither spouse needs to demonstrate wrongdoing or fault in order to obtain a divorce; irreconcilable differences is enough (Family Code §2335). One spouse may not prevent the other spouse from obtaining a divorce. You may file for divorce in the county where either spouse has been a resident for more than three (3) months so long as they have been a California resident for at least six (6) months (Family Code §2320). A divorce may become final after more than six (6) months have passed since the date the divorce petition is served on the other spouse (Family Code §2339).
There are no common law marriages recognized under California law. A valid marriage is not created by cohabitation for any length of time in California. Only legally married parties may file for a divorce.
Generally speaking, there are three types of divorce:
A default divorce is where one spouse files for divorce and the other spouse does not file a response to the divorce petition with thirty (30) days after being served with the divorce petition. Although a default divorce appears to be simple and straightforward, it is important to hire an experienced divorce attorney as early as possible to ensure that the correct default divorce judgment documents are prepared to finalize your divorce.
An uncontested divorce arises when both spouses agree to sign a settlement agreement/stipulated judgment to resolve all relevant issues such as divorce, division of assets, spousal support (alimony), child custody & visitation, child support., and attorney fees. Spouses can, through competent counsel, to agree on some or all of these issues; if any issues remain, counsel will prepare court motions and attend court hearings in order to resolve the remaining disputed issues.
Although an uncontested divorce may appear to be simple or straightforward, it is important to hire an experienced divorce attorney as early as possible. Do-it-yourself divorces are risky, and often foolish. While spouses may want to separate amicably, there are often unforeseen and/or complex issues that need legal guidance. Select a qualified divorce attorney to draft your divorce settlement agreement and finalize the process as quickly and smoothly as possible.
A contested divorce occurs when the parties have significant disputes regarding child custody and visitation, spousal and child support, and dividing property such as the family home, bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, and/or a small family business. Counsel will obtain full income & expense plus asset & debt information and information. Counsel will prepare court motions to obtain the most advantageous court awards. Even contested divorces often eventually settled, but many times, a contested divorce involves tenacious negotiation and advocacy through discovery, motions, and trial preparation in order to reach the best settlement terms.
If you want to pursue a divorce or legal separation, do not hesitate to contact Counts Law Firm. Emahn Counts is an experienced Los Angeles divorce attorney who has years of experience in handling all types of family law matters. Emahn Counts gets to the heart of the issue, and works with clients to efficiently resolve them.