Important considerations for those looking to divorce in California

Without question, one of the hardest decisions a person will ever have to make is whether to move ahead with a divorce. Indeed, even if the marriage is anything but happy, there may be other considerations -- both personal and financial -- that cause a spouse to experience some doubt.

Given the degree of difficulty involved in the process, it's safe to say that when a person does end up summoning the courage to move ahead with a divorce that they will want to proceed as quickly as possible. While this is understandable, there are some important legal realities about divorce here in California of which they should be aware.  

No-fault divorce

There is a natural tendency for people to believe that they will need to have some reason for pursuing the divorce, such as infidelity or abandonment.

The reality, however, is that California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning it will not be necessary to argue for a divorce based on the bad behavior of a soon-to-be former spouse. In the eyes of the law, there are no "guilty" or "not guilty" people when it comes to divorce.

It will be sufficient to claim that "irreconcilable differences" have contributed to the breakdown of the marriage.

Waiting period

It's important to understand that state law has established a sort of waiting period when it comes to divorce, such that a divorce cannot be finalized until at least six months have passed from the time the spouse was served with papers. It doesn't matter if the spouses are ready to move forward as quickly as possible.  

Residency requirements

State law has also established certain residency requirements. Specifically, a divorce can only be secured if one of the spouses has lived in California for the last six months and the county in which the divorce is going to be filed for the last three months.

To reiterate, what all of this serves to underscore is that the divorce process can prove to be far more complex than people realize. As such, those looking to secure a dissolution of marriage should strongly consider consulting with a skilled legal professional.

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