What does “no-fault” divorce mean?

“No-fault” divorce simply means that neither you nor your spouse can allege that impropriety was the cause of your divorce. Most divorces in the state of California are based on the grounds that the parties have irreconcilable differences.

How long must I live in California before I can file for divorce?

You must live in California for at least six months (180 days) before you can file for divorce.

What does “community property” mean with respect to divorce?

In a divorce proceeding, “community property” refers to income, property, and debt that is earned and purchased during marriage. In other words, “community property” is owned equally between the two parties.

Are California courts more likely to award child custody to mothers rather than fathers?

No. Don’t let traditional notions of child custody arrangements scare you away from protecting your rights or lull you into complacency.

What factors do California judges consider when issuing child custody arrangements?

Above all, California judges consider the best interests of the child when issuing child custody arrangements. They’ll also examine the child’s age, gender, lifestyle, educational circumstances, physical health and emotional stability.

Do California courts usually award custody to just one parent?

No. California courts more often award custody to both parents — i.e. “joint custody.”

Is ethnicity ever a factor when issuing a child custody arrangement?

No. Considering a party’s ethnicity when issuing a child custody arrangement would be unconstitutional.

What’s the difference between “physical” and “legal” custody?

“Physical” custody refers to the right of one or both parents to be with their child. “Legal” custody refers to the right of one or both parents to make decisions regarding their child’s lifestyle and upbringing.

How is community property divided during a divorce proceeding?

Community property may be divided by assigning certain items to each party, or by allowing one spouse to buy out the other’s share of the asset. Property may also be divided by selling assets and splitting the proceeds.

The Hellmann Law Group counsels clients in Vista, Carlsbad, and throughout southern California with cases involving divorce and child custody. Call (760) 306-4444 now to speak with a California family law attorney.

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