In California, parties may claim one of two grounds for dissolution of marriage (commonly referred to as “divorce”): “irreconcilable differences” or “incurable insanity”. Most parties claim “irreconcilable differences” as the cause of their requested dissolution.
To file for dissolution in California, one party must have been a resident of California for at least six (6) months and a resident of the county in which the party is filing for at least three (3) months prior to the filing date.
A final judgment of dissolution does not become valid until at least six (6) months have expired since the date on which either: (1) the initial Summons and Petition are served upon the Respondent, or (2) the Respondent makes a first appearance. The court may extend the waiting period of good cause is shown.
Common Divorce Myths
When you face the emotional and legal stress of a divorce, it is important to understand what is “fact” and what is “fiction” regarding the divorce process. Below are some of the most common divorce misconseptions:
•All lawyers are alike. Some attorneys are friendly, welcoming and provide advice that is specific to the needs of each individual client. Other lawyers are less communicative and investigate all divorce cases in exactly the same way. It is important to choose an attorney who specializes in divorce and marital law, and understands that each case and client are unique.
•An unfaithful spouse loses more property. Some states, including California, are “no-fault” divorce states. This means that such faults, such as infidelity, will not affect division of marital assets. A prenuptial agreement may, however, alter this generality. To gain specific insight regarding your circumstances, contact bayati Law Group for a precise analysis of your circumstances.
•Your name is on the title or deed, so the property is automatically yours. State law dictates property distribution, not whose name is on the title. Some state laws treat all property owned by either spouse as joint marital property. Hiring a skilled lawyer to represent you can be the best strategy for both limiting lengthy property disputes and attaining a fair portion of the assets following a divorce.
Don’t speculate about your legal rights. Attorney Brian A. Bayati and the experienced family law professionals at Bayati Law Group will help you navigate the complexities of divorce law, and work hard to support and advise you with honesty and empathy. As a leader within the Orange County family law legal community, Bayati Law Group and our team of legal professionals will provide you with the necessary help required to successfully navigate through this chapter of your life.
An alternative to traditional divorce methods is collaborative divorce, which may allow spouses to end their marriage in a more amicable fashion. Most importantly, collaborative divorce allows spouses to maintain additional control over the procedure and, hopefully, the desired outcome.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce is a team-based approach towards reaching carefully considered settlement decisions between divorcing spouses. Each spouse is represented by his or her own lawyer. By way of summary, there is usually a series of four-way meetings during which the parties discuss settlement in a fashion that is respectful and civil; and, therefore, productive.
Collaborative Divorce Agreement
When participating in a collaborative divorce, spouses agree to several principles by signing an agreement that includes, but is not limited to, the following requirements:
•An honest exchange of required information between the spouses;
•A pledge to try and reach an agreement without going to court;
•A pledge not to take advantage of the other spouse;
•Complete and honest disclosure of financial information;
•Maintenance of confidentiality;
•Continued courtesy; and
•Working towards a solution that is within both spouses’ and, most importantly, the children’s (if any) best interest.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
If you are considering a divorce, you need to know that the traditional court centered divorce is not your only option. More and more divorcing spouses are turning to the collaborative divorce process to terminate their marital status in a more civil manner.
In a traditional divorce, the litigation process is adversary and, often, hostile. Lawyers are often instructed to strive to win everything that they can for their clients. One benefit of a collaborative divorce is that the parties agree to be civil, which often times can eliminate the need for overly aggressive litigation strategies. Because there is less fighting, less damage is done to the parties and their children.
Another benefit of collaborative divorce is that it is often quicker than a traditional divorce. Traditional court centered divorce proceedings are generally long and drawn-out. If handled incorrectly, this process can become emotionally and financially exhaustive.
Finally, a collaborative divorce can be less costly than a traditional divorce. In a traditional divorce, the adversary and procedural nature of proceedings can lead to increased costs.
Is My Marriage Valid?
Not all marriages are valid. Pursuant to the Family Law Act, the following conditions must be met for a marriage to be valid in the State of California:
1. Consent of the parties;
2. Capacity to consent;
3. Issuance of a license; and
4. Solemnization of the marriage.