Most individuals likely enter their marriages without the intent for divorce to take place. Ending your marriage with your spouse is a complex process that requires attention to detail, time management, and money. On top of that, each state has its own guidelines, language, and approaches concerning divorce. This only further complicates the process for individuals wanting to file.
It may sound strange that a state has qualifications for filing, but most do. Most importantly, you must meet your state’s residency requirements to proceed with filing for a divorce. In California, this means that you must be a resident of the state for at least six months before you file. Even more specifically, you must have lived in the county you intend to file in for at least three months.
Each state requires that a legally acceptable ground for divorce is provided at the time of filing. While some states have unique distinctions for “fault-based” divorces, California is known as a “no-fault divorce” state. This means that you do not have to place blame or accuse your spouse of the end of the marriage. This immensely simplifies the divorce process, as a couple can simply cite that “irreconcilable differences” resulted in the dissolution of their marriage.
Some states actually have a mandated separation period before you can file for a divorce. Often, this is in place to allow the couple to work on their separation agreement or determine if divorce is actually the best course of action. While this may be a requirement in some states, this is not the case in California. Couples in the state may file for a divorce even while living together. However, California does still offer couples the option to proceed with a legal separation. If the couple wants to have time apart but does not want to fully file for a dissolution of marriage, they can elect to go this route. However, it is important to note that they will still have to reach an agreement concerning custody and other important matters.
Divorce costs are extremely important to be aware of upon deciding to file for a divorce. While lawyer and court fees are dependent on your approach to filing and how long your process takes, there are other fees that are standardized for each dissolution of marriage in California. As of August 2022, the filing fee for a dissolution of marriage petition is $435. However, this cost can fluctuate.
If an individual cannot afford the cost of filing for a petition, there are waivers available. These waivers are only available to individuals who meet specific requirements. More specifically, you must either receive public benefits, have a household income below a certain amount, and cannot meet the needs of your family if you pay the filing fee.
It is difficult to provide an exact estimate of how long a divorce will take. Each couple has unique circumstances that may contribute to the amount of time it takes for them to get through the process. For example, in a contested divorce where the couple argues over every component, it will take immensely longer. On the other hand, if a couple decides to rely on mediation, they may be able to go through their divorce faster.
Regardless, California does have a mandatory six-month waiting period before any divorce is finalized.
The above components are critical to remember as you file for your divorce in California. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Creative Family Solutions, Cianci Law, PC today.
Contact our team today at (916) 797-1575 to schedule an appointment for a consultation! We can help answer any questions you may have about divorce in California.
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