Important California Laws To Know – Divorce
Many attorneys enter family law intending to make a difference in the lives of those who experience marital difficulties. Sadly, domestic relations law involves issues related to the end of a marriage – divorce, and separation. Issues related to children such as child support, child custody, and visitation naturally arise, which become issues of great priority and importance. Any young aspiring domestic relations lawyer must first become familiar with the law of divorce in California or the jurisdiction where they will ultimately practice.
Law school graduates and young attorneys often believe that they may use their legal and personal skills to help their clients make their transitional return to single life a less stressful and more emotionally manageable experience. Family law involves people and, more importantly, the relationships between people.
California Family Code § 2310 lists the grounds for obtaining a divorce or legal separation in California. Dissolution of a marriage or legal separation of the parties may be based on either irreconcilable differences, which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage, or the permanent legal incapacity of one party to make decisions. As would be expected, Irreconcilable differences are pleaded by parties seeking a divorce much more often than incapacity.
Irreconcilable differences are those grounds determined by the court to be substantial reasons for discontinuing the marriage and which make it clear (appear) that the marriage should be dissolved. Dissolution of a marriage based on incapacity does not relieve a spouse of his or her duty to support the other.
Residents of California may file for divorce, legal separation, or a summary dissolution of their marriage. To file for divorce in California, at least one of the parties must have resided in California for at least six months prior to filing, and in the county where the individual intends to file, for the prior three months.
California law also allows parties in a same-sex marriage to seek a judgment for dissolution, nullity, or legal separation of a marriage even if neither spouse is a resident of, or maintains a domicile in, California at the time the proceedings are filed, provided that the marriage was entered in California and neither party to the marriage resides in a jurisdiction that will dissolve the marriage.
The path to becoming an effective attorney-advocate for those interested in a career as a family law attorney leads to the California Desert Trial Academy. The distance learning program offered by the California Desert Trial Academy College of Law is tailor-made to meet the needs and demands of students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.