Newport Beach Family Law Attorney
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California Divorce FAQ

If you are considering divorce or have already begun the process of ending your marriage, it's important to understand California's unique dissolution laws. Knowledge is power, and by understanding the process, you can feel more assured as you move forward with your case.

Here we discuss some frequently asked questions about getting a divorce in California.

How long will it take for my divorce to be completed?

Getting a divorce isn't a quick process. The fastest you can terminate your marital status is six months. However, other issues in the case can take a longer or shorter time to resolve. The timing of resolution of divorce matters may depend upon the amount of information to gather, the participants' emotional state, and the complexity of the issues to resolve. The uncontested process can result in an agreement in weeks or months, while litigated cases can take several years to conclude.

What is the difference between a "legal separation" and a "divorce?"

A legal separation doesn't terminate your marital status, while divorce does. Some couples choose to get a legal separation for a variety of reasons, including for tax purposes, religious beliefs, or health insurance concerns. In both a divorce and a legal separation, the couple will have to address issues like child custody, division of assets, alimony, and debts.

Are there requirements to get a divorce in California?

In California, you must reside in the county you are filing for divorce in for at least three months. If you do not meet this requirement, you can file for a legal separation for the time being. Additionally, you must have lived in the state of California for at least six months prior to filing.

There are no grounds required to be stated to get a divorce in California because it is a no-fault state. This means that neither spouse needs to assign blame on the other nor state a reason for the marriage ending. Instead, they can cite irreconcilable differences as the grounds for divorce, which means that the couple cannot get along with one another in order to keep the marriage alive.

How long will I receive or be obligated to pay spousal support?

The duration of spousal support, commonly known as alimony, is up to the court's discretion. However, it generally depends on the length of the marriage. Spousal support usually will last for half the length of the marriage that lasted for ten years or less. For longer marriages or those that lasted more than ten years, a spouse may be obligated to pay support indefinitely.

How is child support determined?

Judges calculate child support by using the California Family Code. This code provides an equation that determines what an appropriate amount of child support is. It takes into account each parent's income, the amount of time each parent spends with the child, the number of children (if applicable to the case), and the total net disposable income available.

What is the difference between legal custody and physical custody?

Legal custody refers to the right and the responsibility of the parent to make major decisions relating to the child, such as health, education, and welfare. On the other hand, physical custody refers to the time in which a parent physically cares for the child.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

At The Law Office of Timothy M. Ghobrial, we are here to guide you through the California divorce process and answer all your questions. If you still need more information about your rights while obtaining a divorce, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Newport Beach family law attorney. Our team is here to support you through this difficult time.

You don't have to go through a divorce alone. Call us today at (949) 751-1420.

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