Law offices of
 
Alexander, Clayton & Wilson, LLP
 
 Providing superior legal representation in Ventura & Los Angeles Counties since 1963

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about
CALIFORNIA DISSOLUTION of MARRIAGE (DIVORCE)
or REGISTERED DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP

What are the requirements to file for dissolution (divorce) in California?

Must live in California during 6 months immediately prior to filing; and
Must file certain legal documents requesting dissolution with Superior Court of California in the county in which you have resided during 3 months immediately prior to filing; and
Must deliver copy of documents filed with Superior Court and summons to spouse/registered domestic partner.

Is it possible to end my marriage or registered domestic partnership without going to court?

Yes, only if both parties enter into a written agreement which resolves all issues.

What if my spouse or registered domestic partners contests or does not respond to the summons?

You will be required to appear in court if your spouse/registered domestic partner contests the dissolution
You will be required to file a sworn statement with the court if your spouse/registered domestic partner does not answer the summons

What should I do upon being served papers requesting divorce or termination of registered domestic partnership?

Meet with a qualified Family Law attorney
Determine whether or not it is necessary to request hearing for judge to decide temporary child custody or support disputes

What are the various child custody arrangements?

Joint Legal Custody – parents share responsibility for important decisions regarding their children
Joint Physical Custody – children live with each parent part-time
Both Joint Legal and Physical Custody – parents share primary responsibility for children
Sole Custody – one parent has primary responsibility for children

How does California law require our estate be divided?

Your estate is comprised of both separate and community property. Each spouse or registered domestic partner is entitled to keep his/her separate property while 50% of community property is to be distributed to each spouse or domestic partner. Property debts will also be separated.

Community Property includes everything that either spouse obtained through labor and skill (earned income or barter) during marriage.

Separate Property includes property owned prior to marriage as well as gifts and inheritances received during marriage or domestic partnership.

Domestic partners’ earned income is Separate Property rather than Community Property.

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