California Divorce Laws

Residency requirements for divorce

In order for a spouse to be able to apply for Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in California, the Superior Court must have jurisdiction over your case. There are residency requirements to be followed, which includes one of the residents residing in the state for a period of at least six months. They must also reside in the county of which they are filing for divorce for three months preceding the filing. Usually Dissolution of Marriage will be filed in the county in which the filing spouse resides California Code – Sections: 297, 298, 2320, 2339.

The husband and wife may each have a separate home, depending on proof of the fact, but not upon legal presumptions.

Grounds for divorce in California

Under California law, there are certain grounds under which the spouse filing the petition for divorce can ask the court to dissolve the marriage and these are outlined below:

  1. Irreconcilable differences which have been the cause of breakdown of the marriage
  2. Insanity that is incurable

Irreconcilable differences are determined by the court and as such will be very good reasons why the marriage cannot continue and would be better being terminated.

When terminating a marriage based on incurable insanity there must be ample professional proof that at the time of applying for dissolution of marriage the spouse was and remains insane for which there is no cure. California Code – Sections: 2310

When requesting a divorce in California the grounds for divorce must be declared. They must also be proved with evidence, otherwise your application may be denied by the courts and your case may be dismissed. It is essential when applying to the courts that you realize there may be repercussions, so you need to understand the grounds.

Division of property when divorcing

In California, property may be divided between the spouses. Should the spouses fail to reach an agreement regarding division; the Superior Court will make the division of the property. California is a community property state. Community property consists of all property that was acquired during the marriage, from the first day to the cut-off day of the marriage. The Superior Court will split the assets equally between the spouses.

When dividing property the following is taken into account:

  1. Any property that was acquired during the marriage in joint form will be considered community property. This will include tenancy in common property, joint tenancy or property that is tenancy by the entirety. Proof of this may be needed and can be rebutted by either of the following:
  1. If there is proof by documentation or deed that, the property is spate property and not community property.
  2. The spouses have declared that the property is not community property and there is proof.
  1. One party may be awarded an asset of the community state when economic situations warrant it. If the court believes that, the situation warrants it.

Child custody laws

The California court considers many different matters when deciding who has child custody. These are as follows:

  1. The welfare, safety and health of the child
  2. Any history of abuse which includes abuse to child or other parent
  3. The amount of contact that the child has had with the parents and nature of contact
  4. Habitual use of illegal or controlled substances or habitual use of alcohol, which is continued. California Code – Sections: 3011, 3020, 3024, 3040, 3042

Of course, the court of California will always do what is in the best interests of the child. They would also prefer that the spouses are able to reach an agreement between themselves as to child custody issues.