Divorce is the legal termination of a marriage. In the California court system, divorce is called “dissolution of marriage.”
All states require a spouse to identify a legal reason for requesting a divorce when he or she starts the proceedings by filing a complaint (or petition). California is a “no fault divorce” state. What that means is that the spouse filing for divorce does not have to accuse the other of wrongdoing. Rather, the spouse can simply state that the couple no longer gets along.
To obtain a divorce in California, a petitioner (the person filing for divorce) must be 18 years of age or older and must have lived in the State of California for the past 6 months and in the County where the divorce is filed for the past 90 days.
When a couple divorces, they may agree on some or all of the issues relating to the division of property, custody and visitation of the children, child support and spousal support. This agreement will be put in writing, signed by the parties and by the judge and becomes a Court Order. This “Marital Settlement Agreement” eliminates the necessity of going to court for a hearing. Therefore, the parties will not have to go to court. They will simply come into the office of About Justice to sign the divorce paperwork and all documents will be filed with the court for them.
If the parties cannot agree on the issues pertinent to them it is recommended that they seek the services of a professional mediator. Mediation is a non-adversarial process where a neutral person (mediator) meets with the disputing couple to help them resolve their issues. Mediation is often used to help a divorcing or divorced couple work out their differences concerning property division, spousal support, child custody, visitation and child support. If an agreement is reached in mediation, that agreement can then be incorporated into the Marital Settlement Agreement. If no agreement can be reached, the parties must schedule a court date and appear before a judge.
About Justice can refer you to qualified professional mediators to help you with fair resolution of your marital issues if need be. We are not attorneys and do not represent either party in a divorce proceeding. Therefore, we welcome the input of both parties and assist you through this difficult process with the least amount of stress possible. All documents will be accurately prepared in our office and filed with the court for you.