California is a “no fault” state. In other words, one is able to get a divorce (dissolution of marriage) simply based upon their stated inability to continue with the marital relationship. The legal grounds for discontinuing the marriage is “irreconcilable differences.” Though there are other obvious grounds for termination of the marriage such as incurable insanity, bigamy and fraud, in virtually all cases, the grounds are simply stated as “irreconcilable differences.”
It is not necessary that both parties desire to end the marriage. It is sufficient that one of the parties makes such a request.
In California, the court cannot terminate the marital status until six months and one day have passed since the time that the petition for the divorce has been personally served on the other party. This does not mean that divorce cases must drag on for at least six months. All other aspects of the divorce can be completed within as little time as the parties can reach an agreement or set issues for the decision of the court, including child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, and division of the community assets and debts. The six-month time limitation only relates to the marital status. In other words, until at least six months and a day have passed, the parties will not be restored to the status of “single.”
In more time consuming cases where the parties are unable to reach agreements on many of the issues, the divorce proceedings can continue far past six months. However, the court does allow a party to request that they be restored to the status of single once the six months has run, and the court will grant such a request so long as various conditions to keep the status quo pending the resolution of the remaining issues have been met. This request is technically referred to as a “bifurcation of the marital status.”
In cases where minor children are involved, whether it is a divorce action (dissolution of marriage) or a paternity (children without marriage), child support will be an issue.
Child Custody & Visitation
Child custody intro goes here.
Spousal support is one of the most litigated issues due to the fact that there are several components and several arguments that greatly affect the amount of spousal support to be paid.
Division of Assets and Debts
Generally speaking, the division of community assets and debts is a mathematical function, and it is not difficult or time consuming, except in cases where the parties cannot agree upon the value of assets.
Fees & Fee Management
While it is often difficult to decipher the billing statements of other firms, our fees are simple to read and understand.