(also called "dissolution of marriage" or "dissolution of domestic
partnership") ends your marriage or domestic partnership. After you get
divorced, you will be single, and you can marry or become a domestic
If you get
divorced, you can ask the judge for orders like child support, spousal
support, partner support, custody and visitation, domestic violence
restraining orders, division of property, and other orders.
persons to get a divorce, you MUST meet California's residency
file a regular divorce if you can answer yes to any one of
•Have you and your spouse been
married for more than 5 years?
•Do you and your spouse have any
minor children born of your relationship
before or during the marriage or
adopted by you during the marriage?
•Is the wife currently pregnant?
•Does either spouse have an
interest in any real property anywhere (excluding a
lease for a residence
which must terminate within a year from the date of filing
the divorce and
must not include an option to purchase)?
•Do you have more than $5,000 in
obligations incurred by either or both of you
during the marriage except
for car loans?
•Do you have more than $33,000 in
total fair market value of community property
assets, not including what
you owe on those assets and not including
•Does either spouse have in
excess of $33,000 in separate property assets, not
including what you owe
on those assets and not including automobiles?
In order to
initiate a divorce case, you must prepare and file a Summons and Petition
together with any other applicable forms. Upon filing, the Court issues
your Summons and assigns you a case number. Your spouse must be
personally served with your Summons and other documents. You can have
anyone over the age of 18 serve your spouse at no cost or you may choose
to have our office have your spouse served by our registered process
servers at an additional fee. Your six month waiting period to be
returned to unmarried, single status will begin when your spouse has been
spouse is served with your Summons and other documents, he or she will
have 30 days to file the appropriate documents in Court to contest your
matter or they can opt to do nothing.
spouse does not file the necessary documents with the Court to contest, your
divorce may proceed by default. You must prepare and file the default
package with the Court. After the Court processes your default package, you
must then prepare and file the judgment package to finalize your divorce.
If your divorce includes the issues of child custody, visitation, child
support, spousal support, or division of assets and obligations, the Court
may request that you attend a Default Trial in order for the Judge to make a
ruling on these issues. This process usually takes a minimum of six to
eight months to complete.
spouse does file the necessary documents with the Court to contest, you must
then complete your divorce by either agreement or trial.
If you and your spouse
can agree to all the issues involved in your divorce, i.e.
child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, division of
community assets and/or obligations, confirmation of separate property,
etc., your divorce can be completed by agreement. You and your spouse must
complete all of the necessary documents, including the agreement, in order
to have the Court finalize your divorce.
If you and
your spouse cannot agree to all of the issues involved in your divorce, then
a trial date must be requested so that you can go before a Judge in order to
obtain your final divorce judgment. You must prepare all of the mandated
trial documents and submit them in a timely manner in order for your trial
to proceed. If it becomes necessary for you to go to trial, it is always
recommended that you have an attorney appear with you so that you have
appropriate representation as this hearing will result in the Judge
rendering a decision on all issues and finalizing your divorce.
California, starting on January 1, 2005, domestic partners must also file
for dissolution, legal separation, or annulment to end their relationship.
The information above also applies to the dissolution of a domestic