Simi Valley Divorce FAQs

At the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, our certified family law specialists wanted to discuss some of the most common questions we receive. Our Simi Valley divorce attorneys are ready to help you with your divorce needs.

What are the divorce rates for California?

California is notoriously secretive about releasing official government data about divorce rates. The Centers for Disease Control excludes California from their nationwide divorce data.

According to the Statistical Atlas, 12% of the Simi Valley population is divorced, which affects many of our citizens. Looking at the state, we can see that 12% of the total population is also did (3.65 million people). In the United States, it is estimated that there are 33.6 million divorced people.

What does a no-fault divorce mean?

California is a no-fault divorce state. This means that any marriage can be dissolved if the court finds irreconcilable differences between the couple. A married person can end their marriage for any reason, even if the other spouse does not want to get divorced. California was the first state to become “no-fault” in 1969. In many states throughout the US, one spouse must have a legitimate reason for wanting a divorce.

Does there have to be grounds for divorce?

Since California is a no-fault divorce state, there does not have to be a reason for a divorce. However, most marriages end for one or more reasons beyond irreconcilable differences. According to Business Insider, the top seven reasons that couples get divorced include:

  • Infidelity
  • Substance abuse
  • Lack of commitment
  • Too much conflict and arguing
  • Growing apart
  • Financial problems
  • Getting married too young

How long do I have to live in California to get a divorce here?

If you want to file for divorce under California law, you must have lived in the state for at least six months before filing for divorce. You must have lived in the county where you are filing for divorce for at least three months.

How long does it take for a divorce to be finalized?

When you file for divorce and have it served on your spouse, you must wait at least six months for it to be finalized. In reality, finalizing most divorce cases will take over six months.

What is the official process for a divorce in California?

You could qualify for a “summary dissolution” of your marriage in California if:

  • You have been married less than five years
  • Have limited property and debts
  • Do not own real estate

This process will be more straightforward and not require an appearance before a judge. You and your spouse must agree on dividing assets and debts and filing the divorce petition with the court.

However, most divorces are more complex. The basic process for a Simi Valley divorce includes the following:

  1. One spouse is filing for divorce and serving the other spouse with the paperwork.
  2. The other spouse has 30 days to file a response to the petition.
  3. One spouse may request temporary court orders relating to child custody, child support, and restraining orders.
  4. The spouses will engage in discovery, exchanging all documents and information. This will include lists of all assets and property and income and expense declarations.
  5. Spouses and their legal team will discuss settlements.
  6. If there is no agreement between the parties, a trial will be necessary.
  7. A Judgement of Dissolution of Marriage will be filed.

Is mediation required before a divorce can be finalized?

Mediation is not required by law in California, but it could be beneficial. Mediation is done by a neutral third party that both spouses agree upon. For uncontested divorces, mediation can lower the cost of the divorce.

What issues need to be settled in a divorce?

Many issues need to be settled before a divorce can be finalized. This includes the following:

  • Division of all community property, assets, and debts
  • Spousal maintenance payments
  • Court orders or enforcement orders
  • Child support payments
  • Child custody arrangements
  • Visitation schedules

Is there a difference between “legal separation” and divorce?

Yes, there is a difference between legal separation and divorce. There are various reasons why a couple may want to remain legally married while living separate lives. Filing for legal separation allows a couple to do this while retaining the benefits of marriage. Legal separation can still include many aspects that a divorce would, including child support, child custody, and the division of assets.

How much will my divorce cost me?

The total cost of a divorce varies from case to case. The filing fee for a divorce petition is $435, but you will likely incur additional costs. Mediation will cost less, but that is only sometimes an option. Both sides will likely incur attorney fees and additional court costs for contested divorces. Speaking with a Simi Valley divorce attorney about your case would be best.

Do you need an attorney to get through a divorce in California?

No, you do not need an attorney to complete a divorce in this state. However, even uncontested divorces can become complicated. Some things you need to think about when making decisions related to the divorce may end up in trouble. A divorce attorney will ensure you are protected and that everything is done correctly.

If you are going through a divorce, please seek legal assistance. At Simi Valley, divorce lawyers can help you get through this process. You can contact the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 818-707-0202.

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