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Divorce in California: What to Know Before Filing

Guiding You Through Difficult Times
Woman sitting at a table on the computer.

Getting a divorce is tough, especially in the beginning stages of filing. Divorce can impact different aspects of your everyday life, forcing you to make changes you didn’t think you would need to make.

If you’re considering getting a divorce in California, here’s what you should be aware of before filing.

California Is a No-Fault Divorce State

California’s no-fault divorce law allows for couples to get a divorce without needing to prove that either spouse caused the divorce.

Because of the no-fault divorce law, you usually don’t have to worry about filing first. Whenever you or your spouse are ready, you can consult a skilled family law attorney about your potential case. An attorney can explain how the no-fault divorce process can benefit you, prepare and file all of your paperwork regarding the divorce, and work with your spouse to settle your case.

Couple fights on couch. Family law dispute in Ventura

Property is Divided Equally

If you have assets that you would like to keep after your divorce, you should keep in mind that property in California acquired during the marriage is presumed to belong to you and your spouse until a judge signs off on your property division agreement. Any property you obtained together can be split 50/50.

To get started with dividing your property, make a list of your assets that you obtained during your marriage, which is called community property. Knowing how much your assets are worth can be tricky, but there are family law attorneys who can help you with property division and valuation.

You should also make a list of any property or assets you had before the marriage. This is considered your separate property, and you can let your attorney know if you would like to keep it for yourself.

A Judge Determines Spousal Support

If you need help offsetting costs after getting divorced, like childcare, healthcare, or more, an attorney can assist you with requesting spousal support.

A judge will help you and your spouse agree on how much support you can receive by looking at both of your incomes and expenses. In some cases, depending on both of your incomes, you may have to pay spousal support, depending on your spouse’s needs. An attorney can help you with this process.

Your Child’s Best Interests Determine Custody

There are two types of custody in California, legal custody and physical custody. You and your spouse may be able to share your children’s custody based on their best interests.

Shared custody can be beneficial for you if you would like to co-parent and share your child's responsibilities. The judge will also consider a child’s preference as an element in deciding custody. However, a judge will always put the child’s best interests ahead of their preferences.

Hiring a Family Law Attorney Is a Good Start

Finding the right attorney to explain the proper steps for you to take towards your divorce can help you not only get through the process quicker, but they can use their skills and familiarity with the court system to assist you. At SANTO MEHAS A Professional Law Corporation we can help answer any questions you may have about your divorce. Our attorneys have over 70 years of combined experience in all areas of family law.

Get in touch with our Ventura divorce attorneys by calling (805) 222-7818 to learn more about how we can help you with your case.

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