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Overview of California Divorce Laws

Many individuals experiencing divorce find themselves so involved in the emotional and psychological aspects of the breakup of their family that they are unable to focus on the legal implications of the dissolution process. It is wise for parties to have a working knowledge of the legal issues involved in the divorce to avoid being overwhelmed by the emotional aspects. An experienced Corona divorce lawyer will work to protect your legal interests!

We are dedicated to professionally and compassionately helping you navigate through a demanding time. If you are contemplating dissolution of marriage, call Holstrom, Block & Parke, APLC at (951) 291-9812 today.

Legal Issues Addressed by the Divorce Process

In California, before dissolving a marriage relationship, a judge must address the following legal issues:

Each of these issues come with many sub-issues, which are resolved on a case-by-case basis.

Jurisdiction & Grounds

  • Residency Requirements: California law requires that at least one of the parties has lived in the state for at least 6 months and in the county where the case is filed for at least 3 months prior to filing.
  • Grounds: Because California is a no-fault divorce state, the only determination the court must make regarding grounds is that the parties have irreconcilable differences or one of the spouses has incurable insanity.

Spousal Support

Under California law, the court must consider a number of factors when determining whether spousal support should be provided, for what duration it should be provided, and how much one spouse should be required to pay the other. Objective factors are taken into consideration, like age, education, and ability to self-support, but there are several factors that are less objective, such as whether either party is cohabiting with a person of the opposite sex, and other factors specific to the case.

Property Division

As a community property state, California classifies property as either community or separate. Community property is everything that was owned by a couple from the start of their marriage to the date of their separation, this generally includes all income and assets acquired during the duration of the marriage. This property will be divided equally in a property division based on a full evaluation of assets.

Any property acquired prior to the marriage, via gift, or received through inheritance is viewed as separate property. Post-separation earnings are also considered as separate property and treated accordingly. Separate property will not be divided in a divorce and will remain under the corresponding spouse’s ownership.

Child Custody & Visitation

California judges are required by law to consider the best interest of the child when making determinations regarding custody matters and presume that joint legal custody is typically in the child’s best interests. The law does make exceptions for cases that involve domestic violence.

When child custody matters become emotionally charged, it can be harmful to both parents and children. As a result, if you have a dispute over the custody of your children, acquire the guidance of an experienced Orange County child custody attorney who is well versed in California child custody matters. Holstrom, Block & Parke, a Professional Law Corporation, provides free phone consultations to help you start the process of addressing your family law matter.

Child Support

Child support guidelines in California include a complicated formula that is used to determine which parent, if either, should pay child support. The guidelines take into account several factors and are presumptively equitable and fair. Some of the factors considered include the general standard of living, the current cost of raising a child, and both parents’ incomes and resources. Specific reasons have to be set forth if a judge decides to deviate from the child support guidelines.

How to Get Started on Your Divorce

The first step is consulting with a qualified and experienced attorney who can help you file. Whatever your unique needs, goals, or concerns, our team of diverse legal professionals, including nine Certified Family Law Specialists, is here to provide you with the information and advocacy you need. Share your issues and concerns in a free phone consultation today.