What Are the Legal Requirements for Divorce in California?

Legal Requirements for Divorce in California - Stockton Divorce Attorneys

In order to file for—and be granted—a divorce in the state of California, you must meet some legal requirements. For most people, it makes sense to talk to a Stockton divorce attorney who understands the law and how it applies in individual situations; every case is different, and what works for someone you know may not be equally effective for you.

However, there are legal requirements that all people filing for divorce in California must meet.

What Are the Legal Requirements for Divorce in California?

Before you can even file for divorce in Stockton or any other community in the state, you must have lived in California for at least the 6 months prior. You have to be a resident in San Joaquin County, specifically, for at least the 3 months prior to filing if you’re using the Stockton family court system. (The same is true for any other county in the state, as well.)

Legal Requirements for a Summary Dissolution

A summary dissolution is one way to get a divorce in California, but not everyone is eligible for it. (Most people obtain a regular dissolution.)

The process of obtaining a summary dissolution can be faster, and, according to some people, simpler. In order to qualify for a summary dissolution, the couple who wants it must:

  • Meet the residency requirements for a divorce in California
  • Not have any children together
  • Have been married or in a domestic partnership for fewer than 5 years
  • Not own significant amounts of property
  • Not owe significant debts
  • Not want spousal support or partner support
  • Agree on how their belongings and their debts should be divided

If you meet some, but not all, of those conditions, you don’t qualify for a summary dissolution. You must meet all of the requirements to be considered eligible; you can use divorce mediation to reach agreements with your spouse if that’s what’s preventing you from being eligible.

If you are eligible for a summary dissolution, you won’t have to appear in court—although it’s still a good idea to talk to a Stockton divorce attorney and get case-specific legal help.

Legal Requirements for a Regular Dissolution

You must meet the residency requirements for Stockton (or another city in another county) before you can file for divorce.

Grounds for Divorce in California

There are only two grounds for divorce in California: irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity.

Irreconcilable Differences

Irreconcilable differences are differences between you and your spouse that have caused an irreversible breakdown of the marriage; they’re things you just can’t get past.

Incurable Insanity

You can’t walk into court and say that you want a divorce because your ex is incurably insane. You can only use it as a reason for your divorce if you have actual proof that includes medical or psychiatric testimony that your spouse was “incurably insane” when you filed the petition for divorce and that he or she is still “incurably insane.”

(Most people simply cite irreconcilable differences.)

Do You Need to Talk to a Stockton Divorce Lawyer?

If you meet the residency requirements, you can obtain a divorce in Stockton.

We can help.

Call us at 209-910-9865 or get in touch with us online to discuss your situation. We’ll give you the case-specific legal advice you need right now, and we’ll begin developing a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.