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Different Types Of Divorce In California

Different Types Of Divorce In California

If you are thinking about ending your marriage, you might have questions about the different types of divorce and your legal options. The kind of divorce you seek depends on your personal circumstances, such as whether you have children with your spouse and the length of your marriage.

No two divorces are the same, and certain circumstances make some more complicated than others. Your divorce terms will impact your property and assets, financial obligations, and parental rights if you have children.

It is critical to protect your rights should you and your spouse decide to end your marriage. Keep reading to learn more about California family law and the different types of divorces.

No-Fault Divorce

Some states have fault and no-fault divorces. California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning it is not necessary to provide evidence of adultery or other wrongdoing to dissolve your marriage. In California, your divorce petition will list irreconcilable differences as the reason for your divorce.

In general, judges make divorce decisions without considering marital misconduct. However, there might be an exception if the court finds that one spouse had hidden assets or otherwise failed to disclose required financial information.

For example, say you failed to disclose all of your assets to gain an advantage in the divorce. The judge might decide to allocate more property to your spouse in the divorce because of your misconduct.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce means that spouses do not agree to divorce terms, such as child custody and property division. In some cases, these terms can be settled in divorce mediation or another type of alternative dispute resolution.

When details cannot be worked out between divorcing spouses, the decisions have to be made by family law judges. Couples often try to work out divorce terms without judicial intervention because contested divorces are expensive and time-consuming.

Uncontested Divorce

When couples agree to the terms of their divorce, they have an uncontested divorce. In addition to saving time and money, uncontested divorces are less stressful for couples and their children.

To avoid a trial, many couples prefer to work through details, such as property division, child custody, and spousal support matters together. Sometimes spouses know that they want an uncontested divorce, but they need help reaching an agreement.

As mentioned above, you might turn to divorce mediation which involves you, your spouse, and your respective lawyers working with an independent third-party mediator to settle your disputed terms.

Summary Dissolution

Obtaining a summary dissolution is a more straightforward and less expensive way to end your marriage or domestic partnership. Typically less paperwork and fewer legal filings are required for a summary dissolution. In California, summary divorces are finalized six months after the initial court filings.

However, you are only eligible for a summary dissolution if you meet specific requirements, including the following:

  • You have been married for less than five years when you filed the petition for summary dissolution.
  • You have not acquired significant debt since your marriage began.
  • You meet the residency requirements, with at least one of you residing in California for a minimum of six months and in the county where you filed for at least three months.
  • Your assets do not exceed the community property value limit.
  • You do not have children (born or in utero) together.
  • You both agree to the divorce terms, including that neither of you will receive spousal support.

Default Divorce

A default divorce occurs when one party files a divorce petition, and the other party fails to respond. When this happens, the spouse seeking a divorce must request a default judgment to dissolve their marriage.

However, certain conditions must be satisfied before your default divorce will be granted. For example, you must have properly served the other party with your legal papers and financial disclosure information.

If you have minor children, you will have to provide evidence that you completed the required parenting class. You also must wait 30 days after your spouse was served until you request a default judgment.

Under some circumstances, military members are offered certain divorce protections. If your spouse is deployed on active duty, you will not be able to secure a default divorce until the deployment ends.

Contact A California Divorce Attorney

Contact California divorce attorney Bruce A. Mandel at 424-250-9130 or online to review your family law questions and discuss your divorce options. Bruce has represented clients in California divorce cases for more than 30 years, and he will advocate for your best interests.

Follow his Facebook page to learn more about his California family law practice.