Are There Requirements for Ending a Marriage in California?

In every state, there are qualifications that come into play when you are looking to end your marriage. In California, this is true as well. Whether you are going through a marriage or domestic partnership divorce and live in California, there are some things to remember involving residency requirements and filing documents. We can help.

Residency Requirements for Divorce 

California has laws that help understand who is eligible for divorce. Just like many other states, California has residency requirements. You or your spouse must have lived in California for the last six months, and the county where you plan to file the divorce for the last 3 months. Many people believe that they cannot get a divorce because they do not live with their spouse in the state where the divorce will take place, but this is not true. The filing spouse must meet these requirements, but the other spouse can be located anywhere and receive a divorce.

For domestic partnerships, things are a little different. If you are registered as a domestic partnership in California and want to receive a divorce, you have already agreed to the jurisdiction to end your partnership. This means that you will not have to meet the residency requirements that married couples must meet.

What happens if you are somebody who is seeking a divorce from your spouse but you do not meet the requirements? Don’t worry, because not all hope is lost even if you have to wait to divorce – you can still file for a legal separation. When enough time has passed and you now meet the residency requirements, you can file what is called an “amended petition” and ask the courts for your divorce.

Am I Required to File Certain Forms? 

Yes, to end a divorce you will have to file specific forms, which your attorney can help you with. This begins with the petition, which is used to start a divorce and lists some of the things involved in your divorce, such as dates, property, debts, and children. A summons is one of these documents, which tells your spouse that the divorce has started and what will happen if they do not respond in 30 days. There are also child custody forms and much more when you are involved in a divorce. Since this process can sometimes be difficult, it is helpful to have an experienced attorney on your side to explain these aspects to you. Call us for more information on how we can help you divorce in California, and what you should expect.