11) How do you start a divorce case?

A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed in the county where you live.

22) What is community property?

Community property is acquired by the parties between the date of marriage and the date of separation. This can include homes, businesses, stocks, frequent flyer miles, furniture, vehicles, etc.

3Can I be liable for debt in my spouse's name?

If the debt was incurred between the date of marriage and the date of separation, you will actually be responsible for paying one half of it. It is a good idea to get a copy of your credit report when you file to see if joint accounts exist.

4How do I obtain custody and support orders?

After a divorce case has been filed, a party can file for a Motion for child support, spousal support, attorney fees, restraining orders, etc. by filing an Order to Show Cause.

5Can I file a divorce if I'm still residing with my spouse?

Yes. It is not necessary to live in separate residences to file a divorce.

6Can My spouse and I resolve the case ourselves and bring the agreement to an attorney?

Absolutely yes. This is a wonderful approach. The divorce action will be filed. The parties will exchange Disclosure documents and a Stipulation for Judgment will be prepared and submitted to the court. If one party is not represented by an attorney, that person’s signature will be notarized on the Judgment.

7How soon can I re-marry?

The parties’ marital status cannot be terminated any sooner than 6 months after the Respondent was served with a copy of the Petition and Summons or has appeared in the action.

8Can the marital status be terminated if the property issues have not been resolved?

Yes. Under California Family Code Section 2337, the court can bifurcate the marital status before the other issues have been resolved. This is common if the property issues or other issues such as permanent support or custody have not been resolved. A party can file a Motion pursuant to California Family Code Section 2337.

9 Can a child custody or child support order be permanent?

No. You can not have a child support order or child custody order be permanent. It can usually be modified up until the child is 18 years old.

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