Divorce Attorneys in Chico

Aug 27, 2015

Divorce and Family Law in California

Posted by Maria J. Amaya on 27 Aug,2015

Do I Need to Prove a Reason for Divorce?

Divorce can be a time of extreme stress, anxiety, worry, anger, confusion and resentment. The majority of people often find it difficult to overcome the negative feelings. It is very important to remain focused and seek the advice of a family law attorney in Chico to help guide you in right direction. California is a “no-fault” divorce state. This essentially means neither spouses has to prove that other spouse is the reason for the divorce. The parties can simply state “irreconcilable differences” or “irreparable breakdown of the marriage” as the reason when filing for divorce.

Residence Requirement

Either spouse (petitioner or the respondent) must have been residing in California for at least six months and three months in the county where the divorce is filed. California requires one of the divorcing spouses to reside in the state for at least 6 months prior to filing.  Non-resident same-sex couples can divorce in California if they were married in the state and neither spouse resides in one of the 19 states that recognize same-sex divorce.

Waiting Period

Law mandates that no divorce decree be finalized until six months have been completed from the date divorce papers are provided to the respondent or the respondent’s first court appearance. Keep in mind that divorce proceedings can take much longer than six months and in some cases, years, depending on the legal issues.  Divorces that take a long time to settle can also be very costly to both parties in terms of attorney fees.

Grounds for divorce – California Family Code § 2310 -2313

The court needs a legal reason to provide divorce. These legal reasons are called as “grounds” to grant a divorce. There are two grounds for divorce or legal separation in a “no-fault” state, irreconcilable differences or incurable insanity:

  • Irreconcilable Differences:  This indicates that the spouses cannot get along and there is no way their issues can be resolved.  Irreconcilable differences 2310 (a) are also determined by the Court under Family Code §2311.
  • Incurable Insanity: California allows for divorce if one’s spouse is mentally incapacitated for a period of time. Typically in such situations the spouse suffering with serious mental health disorder may not have the capacity to agree to a divorce. Family Code §2310 (b) Permanent legal incapacity to make decisions, and §2311, “upon proof, including competent medical or psychiatric testimony…..”

Required Fees

There are legal fees associated with filing the initial divorce paperwork. The court fee varies from county to county where the divorce case is opened. In a situation where a petitioner is unable to afford the fee, a court may grant a waiver.

Working With a Divorce Attorney in Chico

A divorce can be quite challenging and there are many legal issues that need to be resolved that pertain to property division, child support, spousal support, and child custody.  Chico family law attorneys at Amaya & Associates have the experience and knowledge to help you resolve these issues.  Consult with one of our compassionate divorce attorneys in Chico. Let us to help you during this difficult time.