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Your California Divorce Laws 2017

Discover Your California Divorce Laws and Save Money… ….by Mastering the Divorce Process in California


California Residency Requirement
According to the California Divorce Laws and California Divorce Guidelines, to get divorced in California, the spouse filing the case must have been a resident of the state for 6 months and a resident of the county where the case is filed for 3 months.

Time To Divorce
There is a waiting period of 6 months after filing the California Divorce Forms and California Divorce Papers before a divorce will be granted

Place of Divorce (Venue)
The case may be filed in:
County where plaintiff resides

Simplified or Special Divorce Procedures
A marriage of 5 years or less may be dissolved by summary action. A Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution of Marriage may be filed if:
(1) either spouse has met the residency requirement for a standard dissolution of marriage;
(2) there is an irremediable breakdown of the marriage due to irreconcilable differences;
(3) there are no children born of or adopted during the marriage;
(4) the wife is not pregnant;
(5) neither spouse owns any real estate;
(6) there are no unpaid debts exceeding $4,000 incurred during the marriage;
(7) the total value of the community property (including any deferred compensation or retirement plans but excluding cars and loans) is less than $25,000;
(8) neither spouse has separate property (excluding cars and loans) exceeding $25,000 in value [On January 1 of every odd-numbered year, the dollar amounts in this section may be revised];
(9) the spouses have signed an agreement regarding the division of their assets and the assumption of their liabilities and have signed any documents or given proof of any transfers necessary to effectuate the agreement;
(10) the spouses waive any rights to spousal support [maintenance];
(11) the spouses waive their right to appeal the dissolution of marriage and their right to a new trial upon entry of the final dissolution of marriage judgment;
(12) the spouses have read and understand the summary dissolution of marriage brochure available from the county clerk;
(13) both spouses desire that the marriage be dissolved.

California Grounds for Divorce

Grounds for a No-Fault divorce:
(1) Irreconcilable differences which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage

Grounds for a Fault based divorce:
(1) Incurable insanity

NOTE: Regardless of the reason of the breakdown of the marriage or the reason for filing for divorce in California, the Divorce Do It Yourself Service will do divorces on an "Agreed" basis or a “Default” basis.

  • An Agreed Divorce , defined by California divorce guidelines and California divorce laws, is a scenario where the spouses agree on the terms of the divorce such as California property distribution, California child support, or California child custody. Most of our clients (75%) prefer the Agreed Divorce method and both spouses sign the divorce papers and are agreed to the terms of divorce.

  • A Default Divorce , according to the California divorce guidelines and California divorce laws, is a divorce where the other spouse doesn’t sign the California Divorce forms or California divorce papers, he/she doesn’t do anything at all with the divorce. They simply default on the case and the spouse who files for divorce gets whatever was asked for in the original paperwork.


California Divorce Resources
Here are the important divorce resources for California:
  • California Divorce Legal Code


Process to file for Divorce in California
There are only three basic procedural steps to a divorce:

  • File Divorce Papers for California (California Divorce Forms)
  • Notify Spouse of your filing for divorce in California
  • Attend your California divorce hearing


How The California Divorce Service Works

Divorce Process in California

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California Child Custody Laws
Simple Definitions: (source: divorce process in California and CA divorce laws)

  • Visitation is the plan both spouses have on where the children will live and when the children will see the other spouse
  • Legal Custody is the decision ability of the parents in the lives of the children. Such as, where the children will attend school and which church they will go to.
  • Physical Custody pertains to the place where the children will live and which parent they live with.

California Child Custody in a shared arrangement, in one form or another, is the preferred method of our California divorce customers. If a sole custody arrangement is to be considered, then there is usually a reason agreed upon by both parties that one parent is to have the children. Usually the financial status of a parent is not usually to be considered for allocating any parental rights and responsibilities. Shared Custody or Sole Child Custody may be awarded according to the best interests of the child.

California Child Support Laws
If the parents are unable to agree to an amount of child support, there are guidelines that determine the amount of support based on the California Child Support Guidelines. The guideline $dollar amount is presumed to arrive at an amount of support that is in the child's best interest. But, most divorcing spouses agree to a figure on their own, that will work just fine. Also, in most situations, -0- Child Support is OK if both spouses are working and can manage. This is also true for a Legal Separation in California.

California Child Support Calculator
You can calculate your child support in California right here.

Court Filing Fees
The Court filing fees are not included in the price of our service. To file for divorce in California, fees must usually be paid when you file the California divorce forms and California divorce papers at your county courthouse. These fees vary between County to County, so it is best to call them and ask what the fees are in your County. Regardless of whether you are going through a divorce service, using a California divorce kit, using a divorce attorney (or divorce lawyer), or doing a nearly free divorce in California, you will almost always be the one to cover the court fees which is standard procedure.

California Divorce Laws for Property Distribution
In an Uncontested "Agreed Divorce" or "Default Divorce" the property is divided so that both parties agree to the division. The main concern here is to agree on how to divide the property so that it doesn’t create a fight that one party will want to go to a California divorce lawyer or divorce attorney to make the case into a Contested Divorce. Then you will have to incur the fees of a lawyer too.

  • Debts Most divorcing spouses set out who will pay what debts as part of their marital settlement agreement during the divorce process, and close all of their joint accounts.
  • California Alimony Laws (California Spousal Support Laws) In an Uncontested Divorce, Alimony may be awarded to either spouse for their support and maintenance after the divorce. Both parties must agree to it. Since most spouses are working, alimony (if awarded at all), is usually for a shorter period of time, and smaller amount than in the past. In the California divorce laws for alimony, it is possible for alimony to be paid in a lump sum payment of money or a payment plan. Alimony is not required for a person to get divorced in California.

Missing Spouse
If you do not know where your spouse is and cannot locate him/her, after diligent effort, you may still get a divorce in California. It may involve the extra expense of running a newspaper ad. We help you through the process.

Wife’s Last Name
The Wife may receive her Maiden Name back in the Divorce if she wishes. We include this name change in our service for FREE. Divorce in California often includes a name change.


Divorce Laws and Guidelines





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1 After you order, send in your information via the simple Divorce Questionnaire.


2 We complete your divorce forms in 2-3 business days and email them back for your review.


3 Sign and file the final divorce papers at your local County Courthouse. Get a date for your hearing and attend it.

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