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5 California Divorce Law Basics

Dear Clients and Friends,

Please read on if you or yours have an interest in knowing (or reviewing) California Divorce Law basics:

1. California is a purely “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that you can’t allege that your spouse’s wrongdoing was the cause of the divorce. Instead, most divorces are based on the grounds that the parties have irreconcilable differences that have led to the irremediable breakdown of the marriage. However, fault may be considered by the court as a factor in dividing property or awarding alimony.

2. At least one spouse must be a resident of California for 6 months or 180 days before filing for divorce.

3. California is a community property state. This means that any income earned by either spouse during the marriage, and all property purchased with those earnings, are considered marital property that is owned equally by each spouse or partner. At divorce, the property and the debts of the community are divided equally between the spouses.

4. California courts begin with a presumption that it’s best for a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after a divorce. If possible, judges want to support joint custody arrangements. However, the exact nature of the time-share will be determined by the children’s best interests. 

5. California requires both parents to support their children, even after a divorce. The amount of child support depends primarily on each parent’s income and other resources, and how much time each parent spends with the children. In addition, sometimes the courts will “impute” income to a parent who has the capacity to earn more than he or she actually is earning. And

6. Depending on circumstances most all of the above default items can be meaningfully customized by the parties and/or by the court.

We Continue to invite you to call us for a free phone evaluation on your or a loved ones need for some family law information, such as costs, likelihood of success and the like. 



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