Divorce and dissolution of marriage is the legal term used to describe the termination of a marital union. Though traditionally divorce cases were fault-based proceedings, the state of California is a no-fault jurisdiction. This means that either spouse can file for divorce and site ‘irreconcilable differences’ as the only reason for deciding to end the marriage. Apart from irreconcilable differences, the only other grounds for divorce and dissolution under California law is incurable insanity. In such cases, the spouse has to prove, with the help of qualified psychiatrists and medical practitioners, that the spouse was incurably insane by the time the divorce petition was filed and remains so.
Divorce can be a very messy process, and it is always advisable to hire a Riverside divorce lawyer to represent you in court. Our experts at the Law Offices of J. Scott Bennett have a lot of experience with California divorce law, and they can guide you through the process to ensure the divorce petition is successful.
To get a divorce in California, you must have lived in the state for at least six months. To get a divorce in Riverside County, you must have lived in the county for at least three months. The only exception to this rule is same-sex domestic partners or couples who got married in the state of California but currently reside in a state that does not dissolve same-sex marriages. Such couples must file for divorce in the same county they were married in. Our lawyers at the Law Offices of J. Scott Bennett have a lot of experience with same-sex marriage dissolutions, and they can guide the parties through the process.
Both parties do not have to agree to the divorce petition, as one partner cannot force the other to stay in a marriage. One spouse can also not stop the process by refusing to participate in the divorce proceedings. In fact, non-participation by one of the spouses may lead to a default judgment.
If there are children or joint property, the process of divorce and dissolution can be more complicated. The court must review all issues, including custody and visitation agreements, property to be divided, spousal support, and any restraining orders. If you and your spouse cannot agree on any of these issues, our lawyers can represent you in court to show the judge why they should rule in your favor.
The process of divorce takes at least six months to finalize from the date the divorce papers were served or when the responding partner filed their response, depending on which one happened first. However, the divorce is never final until the judge signs the final judgment, and the time it takes depends on the complexity of your case.
However, there is a different way of ending a marriage known as a summary dissolution, though both couples must meet very strict specifications to qualify for it.
A summary dissolution is a divorce, but it only applies to specific cases. The spouses do not have to go before a judge, and they may not need legal representation. However, it is always advisable to hire a lawyer to help you with the process and to advise you on whether this option is right for you. The following are some of the requirements of a summary dissolution:
– You or your spouse must have lived in the state of California for at least six months, and in Riverside County for at least three months.
– You and your spouse must have been married for less than five years.
– There should be no children born or adopted during the marriage, and the wife should not be currently pregnant.
– Since the marriage date, both parties should not have acquired more than $41,000 worth of property.
– You and your spouse should not have any interest in any real estate property.
– Apart from loans on cars, you should not have acquired more than $6,000 in debt since the date of your marriage.
– You must agree that neither spouse will get spousal support.
– Both of you have to sign a joint petition requesting a summary dissolution of your marriage, and you must pay the required court fees. If you cannot afford to pay, you may get a waiver.
– Before you sign the joint petition for summary dissolution, you must sign a joint agreement outlining how you will divide property and debt.
Whether you want a divorce or a summary dissolution, a qualified lawyer can help you with the proceedings. Contact the Law Offices of J. Scott Bennett today at 951-434-1151 to start the process.