In recent years, more than 60% of California marriages have ended in divorce. If you have questions about how California law may address the issues in your marriage, contact a California family law attorney.
Experienced Los Angeles, California, Divorce Attorney
Divorce in California is unlike any other state. Your attorney will need experience and skills working with judges and executing court procedures properly. The lawyers of Feinberg & Waller provide a full range of divorce and family law services based on experience and skilled preparation. Under the direction of California board-certified family law specialist Marshall Waller, our lawyers have earned recognition for helping our clients protect their interests in divorces that often include complex financial settlements, spousal support and child custody arrangements.
Our firm Link to Firm Overview page serves the family law needs of communities throughout the Los Angeles metro region. We invite you to learn more about California divorce on this page. Contact us to schedule a free consultation at our Calabasas or Beverly Hills offices.
Feinberg & Waller
A Professional Corporation
Thank you for contacting Feinberg & Waller, APC. Your message has been sent.
Call us now
or use the form below.
Frequently Asked Questions About California Dissolution of Marriage
Q: What is dissolution of marriage?
A: There is no fundamental difference between what is called "divorce" in another state and what is called "dissolution of marriage" in California. Both terms refer to the process by which a marriage between parties is terminated and their respective legal rights and obligations regarding property, child custody, and child and spousal support are determined.
Q: Because California is a so-called "no-fault" divorce state, does misconduct by either spouse ever come into play in the final judgment of the court?
A: Perhaps, in some circumstances; for example, under California law, when making a custody determination, the court must consider whether there is evidence of domestic violence. Also, a determination of whether one party will be awarded spousal support may hinge on the issue of a domestic violence conviction. California law also provides that in making a property award, the court may consider misappropriation of an asset by one party to the detriment of the other.
Q: What are the requirements for filing a petition for dissolution of marriage in California?
A: At least one of the parties must have lived in California for at least six months and in the county in which the action is filed for at least three months, in order to file a petition for dissolution of marriage.
Q: Must a parent obtain sole custody in order to be awarded child support?
A: No. A parent may share both legal and physical custody with the other parent, and, depending upon financial circumstances, may still receive child support based on state guidelines.
Q: May the provisions in a final dissolution be subsequently changed?
A: Provisions cannot be changed unless the separation agreement so states, one of the parties commits fraud or a modification is necessary to correct mistakes in drafting. However, a provision in the law permits modification of spousal support or child support based upon a change in circumstances.
Q: California is a community property state; what does that mean?
A: In a community property state, property is classified as either community property or separate property. Community property, but not separate property, will be divided equally in a dissolution of marriage. Community property generally includes income or assets acquired during the course of the marriage and while the parties are living together. Separate property generally includes property owned by a spouse prior to marriage and any gifted or inherited property received during the marriage which was treated as separate property.
Q: What is the difference between spousal support and alimony?
A: Generally, there is no difference. Spousal support is the term that California law uses to refer to what is called "alimony" or "maintenance" in other states.
Q: What does it mean to have a "pro se divorce"?
A: "Pro se" is a Latin phrase meaning "for oneself." In California, it is not mandatory that you hire an attorney; you may represent yourself in dissolution of marriage cases. However, you may be putting yourself at a serious disadvantage. Most divorces are not straightforward unless there are no marital assets, children or other joint issues. Given the complexity of the issues, it may be beneficial to employ the services of a professional who is knowledgeable in the law and experienced in the field.
Q: What is a "summary dissolution?"
A: In California, marriage may be dissolved by a summary dissolution procedure if all factors on a list of several factors are met. These factors include:
- Either one or both of the parties meets the residency requirements
- Both parties agree that irreconcilable differences have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage, that the marriage should be dissolved and that they wish the marriage to be dissolved
- Both parties waive their right to appeal or modify the decree of dissolution
- Both parties waive any rights to spousal support
- Both parties have signed an agreement dividing all of the community assets and liabilities
- The parties have no children between them, and the wife is not currently pregnant
- The parties were married less than five years prior to the date the petition is filed
- Neither party has any interest in real property
- The parties have not incurred large amounts of debt during the marriage (this amount fluctuates with the cost of living and other factors)
- The parties' community property assets are less than the statutory amount (this amount fluctuates with the cost of living and other factors)
- The parties waive any rights to spousal support
Copyright © 2016 FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.