California Family Lawyer Guiding You Effectively Through the Divorce Process
Understanding the process of filing for divorce
California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that a spouse can file for divorce without grounds other than a desire to end the marriage. However, some residency requirements exist for filing a divorce in California. As the founder of McCleary (Mac) H. Sanborn, III, Attorney at Law I draw on more than three decades of experience helping Californians navigate the often difficult divorce process and emerge renewed and ready to begin their new lives.
To file for divorce, either you or your spouse must have:
- Lived in California six months prior to filing for divorce
- Lived in the county where you file for three months
If you do not meet these requirements, you may file for a legal separation until the residency requirements are satisfied.
How do I file for divorce?
To begin the process of filing for divorce, you must first obtain a dissolution of marriage form online or at your county’s superior court. A lawyer assists you in preparing a petition to end the marriage and a summons. After these are prepared, your lawyer files the petition and summons with the clerk in the county of your residence. A copy of the petition and summons is then served on your spouse. Your spouse has 30 days to respond to the petition.
What can I ask for in a divorce proceeding?
During your divorce proceedings, you and your spouse must settle on issues involving asset division, child custody, if you have children and support. As a divorce lawyer with more than 30 years’ experience, I provide you with guidance on each of these issues, including:
Are there different rules for dissolving a same-sex marriage or domestic partnership?
Dissolving a domestic partnership follows the same basic process as filing for divorce if the domestic partnership is registered in the state of California. In this case, the parties do not need to meet the residency requirements of traditional divorce. If the partnership is not registered in California, residency requirements apply. It is important to keep in mind that federal tax laws do not yet recognize domestic partnerships, making division of property and finances more complicated. My experience and advice can help to lessen the logistical and emotional difficulty of dissolving domestic partnerships.