Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Getting California Divorce


More than fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. A California divorce can be filed by either spouse to end their marriage. Upon the completion of the divorce, both the parties are restored back to single status. The court also issues any necessary orders for child support, and custody, spousal support (alimony) and the division of community and separate property. Getting California divorce would be easy if all issues are sorted out as per laws of the state.

Residency Requirements in California Divorce

For getting California divorce, the petitioner spouse should be a resident of the state for 6 months and the county for 3 months.

Grounds for Divorce in California

California allows either spouse to file for divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences. To begin the divorce proceedings, one spouse or his/her divorce attorney should file a petition for dissolution of marriage with the California Superior court. The divorce can be finalized without a trial if both spouses agree on division of property and debts, child custody and support etc. If the spouses are unable to come to an agreement, then these issues are resolved during a court hearing.

Property Division and Spousal Maintenance

California is known to be a community property state, which means that all property not classified as separate is considered as marital property and would be divided equally upon divorce. Property acquired prior to the marriage and property obtained during the marriage through gift or inheritance is considered to be a separate property.

Under some conditions, the court orders alimony (also known as spousal support or maintenance) to be paid by one spouse to the other. The amount and length of spousal support awarded depends on several factors, including the length of the marriage and each spouseís financial situation and earning capacity.

Child Custody and Child Support

California law requires the court to make child custody decisions in the best interests of the child. The court also considers joint custody if it is in the best interests of the child. Generally, a parent gets visitation rights if not awarded with custody.

In California, child support is calculated considering how much time each parent has for the child and each parentís net monthly income. After the court has ruled on child support, the paying parent can make online payments via California state disbursement unit, after which the amount is paid to the other parent.

Tax Deductions in Child and Spousal Support

In California, child support payments are not deductible by the parent paying the child support. Similarly, child support payments are not considered as income by the parent receiving the child support. The paying parent could conclude that paying a child or spousal support would benefit him/her when the payment of tax is to be made. Tax consequences are often given a heavy consideration in all negotiations in a divorce proceeding.

In California divorce, spousal support is rarely granted by the court. A spouse who is convicted of abuse not necessarily has to be monetarily supported. While getting California divorce, amount and duration of support is determined by the court if spouses are unable to reach an agreement.


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