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What can I expect from a California divorce?

Few events are harder to deal with in life than divorce. Even when separating spouses are in agreement on key issues, the legal complexity and emotional toll can be unexpectedly high. This is one reason that divorcing people are often well advised to retain a lawyer to look out for their interests.

California law helps outline several of the legal processes and decisions to be made. They also describe who can apply for and receive a divorce in the Golden State.

  • Who can apply for a divorce in California?

Married people looking to dissolve the marriage in a county of California must have lived in the state for at least six months and the county for at least three months. If a person cannot meet these requirements, he or she may file a legal separation until they are met.

  • What are the legal causes for divorce?

California recognizes two kinds of grounds for divorce. The most common, irreconcilable differences, means that a couple does not get along and cannot see a way to rectify that problem. The less common reason, incurable insanity, applies if one spouse cannot engage in the marriage due to mental illness or lack of capacity.

  • How long does the divorce process take?

From the receipt of divorce papers or the first court appearance, a couple will need at least six months for the court to grant a divorce. A judge may halt the process for up to a month if reconciliation seems possible.

An attorney during the divorce process in California may be a helpful ally in dealing with these requirements or representing interests in divorce court.

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