Common Divorce Questions?
How long do I have to live in San Diego before I can file for divorce?
You have to be a California resident for 6 months before filing for divorce. You also have to be a resident of San Diego County for at least 3 months.
Why is there a waiting period for divorce in San Diego?
The waiting period allows time for the couple to reconcile and cancel the divorce if they choose to do so.
What if we have been residents for 6 months?
You may file for a legal separation and ask the judge to make temporary orders on temporary support, child custody, and child support. After you have been residents for 6 months you may file for the dissolution of the marriage.
What is the general divorce process for an uncontested divorce?
Both spouses file a petition for dissolution of marriage. Both spouses complete the petition and attached a written agreement of the terms of the dissolution. A judge may hold a hearing to confirm the terms and then grants an order for the divorce.
What is the general divorce process for a contested divorce?
One spouse files the petition for divorce. The other spouse is served the petition for divorce and must respond. A judge will hold a hearing to make temporary orders on custody, child support, temporary alimony, etc.
The next stage is called discovery. This is where evidence supporting your claims for custody, alimony, or dividing of the assets is gathered. Most evidence comes in the form of documents. Sometimes the evidence might be a deposition.
Most attorneys will then attempt a settlement conference. If a settlement cannot be handled, then a trial is held and the judge makes the final decision on anything not settled.
What are grounds for divorce in San Diego?
You must submit a reason for the divorce. Irreconcilable differences is the fastest and easiest reason to use. It simply means that you and your spouse aren’t getting along and do not wish to continue the marriage.
You may also sue for divorce based on insanity, but you will have to prove clinical insanity in court.
What is a “no-fault” state?
California is a no-fault state. It simply means that you can divorce without either spouse being “guilty” of ending the marriage. Whether it not that’s the case, a no-fault divorce makes the process faster and easier. You don’t have to prove anything. You just have irreconcilable differences.
How is community property divided during a divorce?
Community property is divided equally between spouses. This does not necessarily mean each spouse owns half of every item. Each spouse is entitled to half the value of all of the community property. You can divide it in any way you choose.
How are retirement accounts divided?
Any money earned during the marriage is considered community property and divided equally. The value is calculated by the percentage of years the marriage lasted that you also participated/contributed to the plan.
How is child custody determined in California?
California defaults to joint physical and legal custody of the child between the parents. This way the child has the opportunity to maintain a healthy relationship with both parents.
When joint custody is not an option, or the parents cannot come to an agreement on their own, the judge will rule in the best interest of the child. The best interests include the health and safety of the child as well as the child’s wellbeing. If the child seems mature enough, the court will take their choice into account.
Another major factor in the judge’s decision will be which parent displays the more cooperative attitude. Since one of the goals of custody and visitation is to let the child maintain a healthy relationship with both parents, the parent who is more likely to facilitate visitation with the other parent will be given some preference.
How is child support determined in California?
California has a child support calculator which lets the judge calculate the minimum mandatory child support.
The calculations take into account the disposable incomes of both parents, which boils down to how much of your gross income is left over after taxes, healthcare, and other mandatory things. Then it looks t the number of children to support, the custody arrangement, children from other relationships, and other costs.
How can I change a custody schedule or visitation schedule?
If you and the other parent agree to a new schedule, it’s best to make it official with the court. Without an official order detailing the new changes, if one spouse changes their mind about the new agreement, there is no recourse through the courts.
If you and your spouse agree you need to file a Stipulation and Order for Custody to make the change official.
If you and your spouse cannot agree, you will need to file a motion with the court to modify your current order.
How can I change the child support agreement?
Like changing custody or visitation schedule, you and your ex can change the child support orders by using the Stipulation to Establish or Modify Child Support and Order.
If you cannot agree on the changes or whether to change the child support order at all, then you will need to file a motion with the court.