California Divorce FAQ’s

Six months in the State of California from the time your spouse is served.

Yes, depending upon what property and income you have or family support arrangements you have agreed to with your spouse.  As with any major financial decisions, you should consult a tax expert before entering into a Marital Settlement Agreement.

You may reconcile at any time prior to your final dissolution of judgment being finalized with the court.  Nothing can be finalized in less than six months from the date of service.

The date of  separation is significant.  Income and assets accumulated by either spouse after the date of separation become their own separate property so long as the spouses live apart and do not intend to reunite.

No, a debt incurred as a joint obligation remains a joint obligation even though the debt may be assigned to one party in a divorce action. The court has no authority to alter a community debt agreement with a creditor even though you may have agreed to divide your bills between you and continue making payments. If possible, you should close out your joint accounts or reapply in your own name to avoid credit issues in the future.

If you have a long-term marriage with assets, debts and/or children, you would need to file a regular Dissolution of Marriage. The same six-month time period is involved and the same filing fees, but this type of proceeding involves court orders such as spousal support, child support, visitation, division of community property, marital agreements and more to be approved by the judge.

An annulment is distinct from divorce in that it claims the marriage never legally existed.  With a divorce, the marriage is legally recognized and is valid in the eyes of the law.  To determine whether you have legal grounds for an annulment, it is always recommended you seek the advice of an attorney before proceeding to file for an annulment.

A legal separation does not terminate a marriage.  Legal separations are for people who want to live apart but want to legally determine property issues, money issues and make parenting decisions without terminating the marriage.  Religion is a main reason someone may choose to file for a legal separation. There is no residency
requirement to file for a legal separation.  At a later date and assuming residency requirements are established, the parties may elect to file an amended petition for dissolution of marriage.

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