Is California an At-Fault Divorce State?

Posted in uncategorized on July 14, 2023

There are currently several at-fault divorce states in the United States. If you were considering a divorce and spoke with someone who lives in an at-fault divorce state, you may be wondering if California is also an at-fault divorce state. This is a very good question because at-fault and no-fault divorce states typically do things differently regarding divorces. Talk to a divorce attorney at Ratzer|Dobis today.

So, Is California an At-Fault Divorce State?

The answer is no. California is not an at-fault divorce state. Instead, it is a no-fault divorce state. This means you can file and receive a divorce even if the other person does not want to divorce or refuses to cooperate. You also do not need to show proof that your spouse did or participated in something that caused you to want or seek a divorce, meaning that there is no fault for the divorce.

How to File for Divorce in California

Even though you do not need to show that your spouse did anything wrong to file for a divorce in California, there are still certain requirements and steps you must follow, such as:

  • Make sure that you are a resident of California: In California, you cannot file for a divorce unless you have been a state resident for at least six months. You must also be a resident in your California county for at least three months before filing for divorce in that county. Domestic partnership divorces do not need to follow these residency requirements.
  • File the divorce papers: Next, you must complete the necessary paperwork and file it with the court in California.
  • Pay the set fee: You will need to pay the divorce fees. You can fill out a waiver if you cannot pay the fee.
  • Ensure that your spouse is notified and receives the divorce papers: After all the paperwork has been submitted and your fee has been paid or waived, you will need to ensure that your spouse receives the divorce papers. Most people have these papers served by an officer.
  • Hire a divorce attorney to help you create agreements: Once your spouse receives the paperwork and is ready to proceed, you must develop agreements regarding property, child support, child custody, assets, and more. This is the most difficult part of the divorce process, but a divorce lawyer can help you navigate the obstacles and challenges that arise and ensure that everything remains fair.
  • Finalize the divorce: Lastly, you will submit the paperwork to finalize the divorce. It will take around six months for the divorce to be finalized, which California calls the “waiting period.” 

Call a California Divorce Attorney Today

If you are planning to file for divorce shortly and need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Ratzer|Dobis at your earliest opportunity. Our California divorce lawyers have helped many clients through the difficult divorce process, and we are more than glad to lend a helping hand to you as well. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation to begin discussing. Nobody has to go through a divorce on their own.