In the state of California, a divorce (in legal terms) is referred to as a “dissolution of marriage,” and for those who are in a registered domestic partnership, the term is “dissolution of a domestic partnership.” The dissolution will legally end all bonds between the parties. In California, there are residency requirements in order to be able to obtain a divorce and both parties do not have to agree to the divorce. Either spouse can take steps to end the marriage. A spouse who does not want the divorce cannot stop the process by refusing to take part in the case. Any San Diego divorce attorney will tell you that a person’s non-participation might actually lead to a default judgment, not a dismissal of the divorce proceeding.
Whenever the parties to a dissolution are unable to come to agreement with respect to all the issues of the marriage or partnership, the court will step in to make the appropriate final decisions. The court will decide how the couple will divide their debts and property, whether one individual will get monetary support from the other with respect to any minor children that may exist, and make any other orders on pertinent issues in the case.
An individual might also be advised by a San Diego divorce attorney that in California, there is no need to prove the “fault” of one spouse (or partner) or the other in the deterioration of a marriage or partnership from the court’s standpoint. Instead, the grounds for a divorce in the state are that there are “irreconcilable differences or incurable insanity.”
Generally speaking, it takes approximately six months for a divorce to become final. The six months will start from the time that the individual who initiated the divorce had the other served with the petition and the summons or from the time that the replying individual files his or her first paper, whichever takes place first. You should note that there is a process to follow in order to finish the dissolution/divorce once the initial papers have been filed, and many other documents will still have to be turned in to the court.
Parties should also be aware that divorces are not deemed final until a judgment of dissolution has been signed by the judge, and one of the parties will be responsible for preparing the judgment form with the proper attachments in order to submit it for signature. If you need help with filing for a dissolution of marriage, and you believe that you would benefit from having the services of a San Diego divorce attorney, please call us at (619)866-3756 for a free consultation.