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An Overview of the California Divorce Process

Last updated 5 years ago

In the state of California, there are three ways to legally end a marriage or registered domestic partnership, including legal separation, annulment, and divorce. Either spouse may decide to end the marriage and does not need the approval of the other spouse in order to do so.  California is also a “no fault” divorce state, meaning that the spouse asking for divorce may do so based on irreconcilable differences rather than because the other spouse has done something wrong. This article will take a closer look at the California divorce process.

Filing for Legal Separation or Divorce

The first step in the divorce process is to fill out the necessary court forms and have them reviewed by the court’s family law facilitator or your divorce lawyer. You will then need to turn in these forms, also known as a petition, with the court clerk and pay a filling fee. If you are interested in making temporary orders for child support, spousal support, or any other issue—you will want to consult with your family lawyer for help. You will also need to complete a financial disclosures form no later than 60 days after filing your petition for divorce.

Responding to the Petition

The divorce petition will be provided to the other spouse via a process server, county sheriff, friend, or relative. Once the other spouse has received the forms, they will be given 30 days to respond. If your spouse does not respond to the petition, they are giving up their right to participate in the case or defaulting, which means your petition for divorce will most likely be granted.  However, if your spouse does respond with a disagreement, you may require mediation and/or court intervention to determine the final divorce settlement, alimony, and child custody details.

For more information on filing for divorce in the state of California, consult with the divorce lawyers and child custody lawyers with Moreno Family Law at (408) 266-9011 today.


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