At The Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, our certified family law specialists wanted to go over some of the most common questions we see. Our Simi Valley divorce attorneys are ready to step in and help you through any of your divorce needs.
What are the divorce rates for California?
The state of California is notoriously secretive when it comes to releasing official government data about divorce rates. The Centers for Disease Control simply leaves the state out of their nationwide divorce data.
According to the Statistical Atlas, 12% of the Simi Valley population is divorced. This is something that many of our citizens deal with. When we pull back and look at the state as a whole, we can see that 12% of the total state population are also divorced (3.65 million people). In the United States, it is estimated that there are a total of 33.6 million divorced people.
What does a no-fault divorce mean?
California is a no-fault divorce state. This means that any marriage can be dissolved if the court finds that there are irreconcilable differences between the couple. This means that a married person can end their marriage for any reason, even if the other spouse does not want to get divorced. California was the first state to become “no-fault” in 1969. In many states throughout the US, one spouse must have a legitimate reason for wanting a divorce.
Does there have to be grounds for divorce?
Since California is a no-fault divorce state, there does not have to be a reason for a divorce. However, most marriages come to an end for one or more reasons beyond simple irreconcilable differences. According to Business Insider, the top seven reasons that couples get divorced include:
- Substance abuse
- Lack of commitment
- Too much conflict and arguing
- Growing apart
- Financial problems
- Getting married too young
How long do I have to live in California to get a divorce here?
If you want to file for divorce under California law, you must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. You must have lived in the county where you are filing for divorce for at least three months.
How long does it take for a divorce to be finalized?
From the time you file for divorce and have it served on your spouse, you are going to have to wait at least six months for it to be finalized. In reality, most divorce cases will take longer than six months to finalize.
What is the official process for a divorce in California?
You could qualify for a “summary dissolution” of your marriage in California if:
- You have been married less than five years
- Have limited property and debts
- Do not own real estate
This process will be easier and does not require an appearance before a judge. Even so, you and your spouse will have to come to an agreement on how to divide assets and debts and file it with the court along with the divorce petition.
However, most divorces are more complex. The basic process for a Simi Valley divorce includes:
- One spouse filing for divorce and serving the other spouse with the paperwork.
- The other spouse has 30 days to file a response to the petition.
- One spouse may request temporary court orders relating to child custody, child support, and restraining orders.
- The spouses will engage in discovery in which all documents and information will be exchanged. This will include lists of all assets and property as well as income and expense declarations.
- Spouses and their legal team will discuss settlements.
- If there is not an agreement between the parties, a trial will be necessary.
- A Judgement of Dissolution of Marriage will be filed.
Is mediation required before a divorce can be finalized?
Mediation is not required by law in California, but it could be beneficial. Mediation is done by a neutral third party that both spouses agree upon. For uncontested divorces, mediation can lower the cost of the divorce.
What issues need to be settled in a divorce?
There are many issues that need to be settled before a divorce can be finalized. This includes the following:
- Division of all community property, assets, and debts
- Spousal maintenance payments
- Court orders or enforcement orders
- Child support payments
- Child custody arrangements
- Visitation schedules
Is there a difference between “legal separation” and divorce?
Yes, there is a difference between legal separation and divorce. There are various reasons why a couple may want to remain legally married while living separate lives. Filing for legal separation allows a couple to do this while retaining the benefits of being married. Legal separation can still include many of the aspects that a divorce would, including child support, child custody, and the division of assets.
How much will my divorce cost me?
The total cost of a divorce varies from case to case. The filing fee for a divorce petition is $435. However, you are likely to incur additional costs. Choosing mediation will cost less, but that is not always an option. For contested divorces, both sides will likely incur attorney fees and additional court costs. You should speak with a Simi Valley divorce attorney about your particular case.
Do you need an attorney to get through a divorce in California?
No, you do not need an attorney to complete a divorce in this state. However, even uncontested divorces can become complicated. There may be some things you do not think about when making decisions related to the divorce that may come back to be trouble down the line. A divorce attorney will ensure you are protected and that everything is done properly.
If you are going through a divorce, please seek legal assistance. At Simi Valley divorce lawyer can help you get through this process. You can contact the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling 818-237-4574.