Jurisdiction for these courthouses is governed by the zip code of the filing party.
For assistance on where to file your Petition, you can either visit the Superior Court of California San Diego website or consult with a lawyer with experience in family law. It is important to review all of the service requirements for the Petition before attempting to effect service - proper service of the Petition has various legal ramifications that impact your case.
Once service of the Petition is complete, the Respondent will have 30 days to prepare and file his or her Response to the Petition. Absent agreement by the parties or court order, if the Respondent fails to timely file a Response, the Petitioner may obtain a judgment by default. Although default proceedings are relatively easy to win absent a timely Response, they are also easy to overcome if the responding party contests the default.
Responding to a Petition for Dissolution can be complicated and it is strongly advised that you meet with a family law attorney to correctly complete this paperwork. Once the parties have filed their respective Petition and Response, the Court will require them to complete their Declarations of Disclosure. These documents can be vitally important to the divorce proceeding and getting the advice of an attorney about these documents is invaluable.
At the FRC the judge will certainly inquire of the parties regarding the status of their Declarations of Disclosure. In addition, the judge will attempt to get the parties on track for resolving their divorce matter. The procedure for getting a divorce can be complex and it is strongly recommended that parties hire an attorney to either represent them or consult with them about their case. If they have been married for a significant length of time and one of them will be unable to be self-supporting, the issue of alimony may arise.
If there are minor children, they will need to resolve issues of child custody, visitation, and support. To file for dissolution of marriage in California, the party filing for dissolution must have been a resident of California for at least six months, and a resident of the county for at least three months. There is a summary dissolution procedure if all of the following conditions are met:. Whether you file for summary dissolution or a regular dissolution, you begin the procedure by filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in the Superior Court of the county where you live.
For the most basic procedures the summary dissolution or an uncontested dissolution with the regular procedure , you, and possibly your spouse, will be required to attend a court hearing. The judge will ask some questions, to be sure you understand and agree to everything, and will enter a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
Grounds are legally recognized reasons to get a dissolution and sever the marital relationship. California has what is commonly called a no-fault ground for dissolution.
Filing for Divorce in California
In dividing property and debts, California adopts the concept of community property, where property acquired, and debts incurred, during the marriage is marital property. Generally, each party will keep their non-marital property and the marital property will be divided between them. California law does not require the judge to consider any particular factors in dividing property.
The judge may order arbitration if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on property and debt division. In California alimony is called spousal support. In deciding whether to award maintenance, and the amount and duration, the judge must consider the following factors:. If you have any minor children, there will have to be a custody determination. There are two aspects to custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make major decisions for the child, and physical custody refers to where the child lives. Traditionally, one parent was awarded custody, and the other was given visitation rights.
California has adopted a preference for joint custody. The idea is that both parents should continue to be involved in decision-making, and both parents should have significant contact with the child.
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But it all still comes down to figuring out how time with the child will be divided between the parents, and how decisions will be made. According to California child custody laws, if the parties cannot reach an agreement on custody, the judge will make a decision based upon the best interest of the child, considering:. Children must be financially supported.
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This almost always results in one parent paying money to the other. This is done by referring to the California child support guidelines. A Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage is not final until six months after service of the Petition on, or the appearance of, the other party, whichever occurs first. If you and your spouse agree on the major issues, an online divorce may be right for you.
7 "Simple" Steps To Divorce in California | Divorce For Men
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