6 Things You Should Expect in a California Divorce

Are you dreaming of your life after divorce? It can be hard to visualize the legal process of divorce—how it will work, how long it will take, and what you can expect from each step. If you’re pondering a divorce in the Golden State, you should get to know these key concepts.


1) You’ll need to meet some basic requirements.

In order to get a divorce in California, you’ll need to meet certain criteria. First of all, there is a residency requirement, meaning at least one of you must have resided in the state for at least six months before you file a divorce petition. When it comes to the grounds or reasons for divorce, California follows the “no-fault” divorce concept. You don’t need a specific reason to file for divorce—the court must only see that your marriage has fallen apart due to “irreconcilable differences.” The same is still true if only one person wants to divorce and the other doesn’t. If you do not meet the residency requirements, you still can file a family law case and then turn it into a divorce at a later date.


2) You’re in for a long journey.

Depending on your particular circumstances, your divorce may take several months to finalize. The process typically takes at least nine months after you’ve filed the right documents with the court. The length of time will also depend on whether you have children, how much property you own, and similar factors. A mediation or collaborative approach can often be faster than litigation because your divorce issues will be resolved more quickly.


3) You’re only human—and so is your ex.

Divorce is always emotionally taxing, so expect to deal with high levels of stress and emotion throughout the process. Prepare yourself to take the necessary steps to grieve and get through those especially tough days, whether that means finding support in family members, seeking professional help, or setting aside private time for yourself. Remember that your ex-spouse is also going through a difficult time, which may make for a rocky divorce process.


4) The courts favor your kids.

When it comes to child custody and support, you should expect the courts to prioritize your child’s needs over yours and your ex-partner’s wants. California courts will always make child custody orders based on your child’s best interests. Oftentimes that means frequent contact and good relationships with both parents, although they will make decisions based on a number of factors related to your child’s well-being.


5) Your marital property is shared.

California is a community property state, which means any property and debts you acquired during marriage generally belongs to both of you equally—along with the benefits and responsibilities they bring. Anything you got before the marriage and after the separation date will be considered separate property.


6) You will need a capable attorney.

Whether you plan to settle your divorce in court or reach an agreement between yourselves, you can expect to see more benefits from a competent and experienced attorney. The right family lawyer can make sure your documents are filed properly, protect your interests and your children’s needs, and make the overall process go smoothly.


Here at The Grey Legal Group, we are committed to working closely with our clients to ensure we always meet their unique, individual needs. Contact us to ensure your voice is heard throughout your divorce proceedings. We will make sure you are always prepared for the next step in the process.

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The Grey Legal Group

At The Grey Legal Group, we believe in helping all families with their legal needs so they can be protected on your journey back to a calmer, happier place of stability. Whether it is divorce, child custody, guardianship, domestic violence, or adoption, we have seen it all before and we can help you through it. With the legal knowledge and experience we bring to the table, we will be certain to find the best and most efficient solution to your situation.

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