State Laws

California Divorce


California Grounds for Filing Divorce
When individuals bring a divorce petition to the court they are required to state why the divorce is required. These grounds for divorce must meet the state of California's legality stipulations. Not every state has the same grounds for divorce, so filing for divorce in one state is different than filing for divorce in another state.

The individuals in the marriage can decide on the grounds for divorce as a couple or one of the individuals can bring the grounds forward at the hearing but will need to prove the grounds before the court. In California one spouse can file for divorce from another, and the respondent will be served with papers.

The grounds for divorce may be based on several factors, including incurable insanity. In this case one individual will be held responsible for the failing of the marriage. The individual in question will first need to be evaluated by a professional who will later provide testimony in court.

By law the individual who has been evaluated to be insane must be in this condition when the petition is filed and will need to remain as such throughout court proceedings. When a divorce is granted due to incurable insanity, the petitioner is still required to support the former spouse as stated by the court.

Another grounds for divorce is named irreconcilable differences. Under this section most individuals will have attended marriage counseling. Irreconcilable differences does not name one spouse responsible for the diminishing of the marriage; instead no one will be held responsible. Substantial reasoning must be brought before the court for a petition to be accepted.

Filing for Divorce
Filing for divorce requires many different types of documents and can be as many as twenty. Some of the documents required by the state of California include Marital Settlement Agreement forms, Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure forms, Declaration of Default forms, Waiver forms, Appearance forms, Uncontested Dissolution of Marriage forms, Stipulation forms, and Declaration Re-service of Declaration of Disclosure and Income and Expense Statement forms.

This paperwork will be submitted to the circuit court in the county of the individuals' residency. Where the individuals reside will determine which court will receive the files. The Superior Court's County Clerk's Office will manage all the paperwork and present it at the set hearing date.

Child Custody in California
Any children involved in a marriage will have to be taken into custody following the divorce's completion. The court will take into account several factors before awarding custody to one parent or joint custody to both parents.

The court will review the child's wishes, the parents' wishes, current parental occupations, the parents' residencies, parental personal relationships, the child's health, the child's safety, any parental use of illegal substances, the child's relationships to his or her parents, any parental use of alcohol, and many others.

The court will also review the emotional state of the child and if removal from one parent's home to another is in his or her best interest. Visitation rights will also be established, if any are to be given.

See also:
California Gun Laws
California Bankruptcy
California DUI Laws
Proposition 36 (California) External link (opens in new window)
California Misdemeanor External link (opens in new window)
Summit Defense External link (opens in new window)