California Divorce Law
Divorce Laws in California
According to California divorce laws, you do not need to prove grounds in order
to receive a dissolution of marriage. The court will grant a petition on the
grounds that the marriage has “irreconcilable differences” that
have caused an irrevocable breakdown of the marriage, which means that if one
spouse wants to file for divorce under the divorce law in California, that person
may do so even if the other spouse disagrees. This is referred to as a no fault
divorce. Additionally, one of the spouses must have been a resident in the state
of California for a continuous 6 months, as well as a resident of the county
for a continuous 3 months, prior to filing a petition for divorce in California.
Spousal Support & Community Property in California
California is known as a community property state. Community property is any
asset acquired or income earned by a married person while living with his or
her spouse. According to the divorce laws in California, all community property
should be divided equally between the husband and wife if there is no written
agreement to the contrary.
Spousal support is determined at the time of trial by the California Family
Code. Such factors as the length of the marriage and the parties’ prior
living standard are considered in determining the amount and duration that should
be paid. Typically, in marriages of less than 10 years, spousal support will
be paid for approximately ½ the length of the marriage, according to
California divorce laws.
California Child Support, Child Visitation and Child Custody
Divorce law in California provides for joint custody. Joint “legal custody”
can be defined as the right of both parents to make decisions concerning the
upbringing of their child, including education, medical and religious decisions.
Divorce law in California also provides for physical custody, which will determine
where the child lives. “Secondary Physical Custody” can also be
awarded to the parent without primary physical custody. This is known as child
Child support is determined according to the Agnos Minimum Child Support Standards
Act of California divorce law. This law establishes minimum levels of acceptable
support based on the percent of income earned by the non-custodial parent. Expect
to pay child support until at least 18 years of age. However, if your child
has not graduated from high school, you may be ordered to continue child support
until that point or until age 19, which ever occurs first.