FAQ

How Long Does It Take To Get A divorce?

From the date your spouse is personally served with the Petition for Dissolution, there is a statutory 6-month waiting period, before which you cannot apply for termination of your marital status. Marital status termination will not happen automatically. You, or your attorney on your behalf, will have to submit all proper final judgment of dissolution papers to the court clerk in order to end your marriage.

What Is Community Property?

Community property is all property acquired during marriage through the earnings and efforts of the spouses. Community property is generally subject to equal division in a divorce action.

What Is Separate Property?

Separate property is property acquired by one spouse before marriage and after the date of separation, or during marriage by gift or inheritance. Separate property is usually confirmed to its owner without offset in a dissolution of marriage action.

Does All Property Have To Be Divided Equally?

The courts are required to equally divide all community property acquired by a couple during the marriage. However, that does not prevent couples from dividing property in a way that is satisfactory to them, but not precisely equal. This can be done through a property settlement prepared by your attorney and signed by both spouses.

As A Divorcing Spouse, Am I Entitled To Receive Spousal Support, Or Alimony From My Spouse?

You may be entitled to spousal support depending on the length of your marriage, your spouse’s income and your own income. Depending on the disparity in your and your spouse’s respective incomes, you may be entitled to “temporary” support based on the marital standard of living. “Temporary” support is designed to get you through the divorce action itself to settlement or trial of the case. Thereafter, if you meet the requirements, the courts have discretion to order a continuation of the support depending on a host of factors found in Family Code Section 4320, such as length of marriage, marital standard of living, one spouse’s needs, the other spouse’s ability to pay support, earned and unearned income, time out of the work force to raise children, and so on. You should consult with your attorney regarding your rights to both temporary and longer term spousal support.

If The Court Orders My “Ex” To Pay Me Spousal Support, How Long Will It Last?

The general rule, although very flexible, is that spousal support can continue for half the length of the marriage. However, California law also provides that supported spouses have an obligation to become self-supporting within a reasonable length of time, which is defined by statute as half the length of the marriage. Therefore, spousal support will rarely continue indefinitely. With a long-term marriage, it may continue for half the length of the marriage, or more.

What Is A “Long Term” Marriage?

Case law provides that a marriage lasting 10 years or longer is presumptively a long-term marriage.

Is There Such A Thing As Common Law Marriage In The State Of California?

No, Common Law marriage was abolished by the California Legislature in 1896. No matter how long you live with a member of the opposite sex, you will not be considered married in the State of California unless you obtain a marriage license and go through a ceremony. If you do have a long-term nonmarital relationship with a member of the opposite sex, you may be entitled to “Marvin” rights, which are based on contractual principles.