Dividing Assets after Divorce in California
The California Family Code governs the divorce laws in California and is among the 29 legal codes forming all general statutory California laws. The family code contains three main ways of ending a marriage or a domestic partnership in California, and they include divorce, annulment, or legal separation. Unlike divorce, a legal separation does not end a marriage, but instead, it allows courts to make decisions on essential issues like child support, child custody, and the issuance and enforcement of restraining orders.
California divorce law states that for one to file for divorce in a California court, they have to meet specific eligibility requirements. At least one of the two parties to the divorce should have lived in California for a period not less than six months before filing for divorce. Also, the divorce has to be filed in a specific county within the state. At least one of the spouses should have lived in that particular county for three months to be eligible to file the divorce.
All the California divorces are no-fault. Therefore, the party asking for a divorce does not need to give any reason or prove that the other spouse wronged them. Judges do not consider fault when either dividing property or determining support. Even if one of the spouses harmed the other or committed adultery, the judge will not consider that when making the ruling.
For the divorce process to start, one of the spouses has to file in superior court in the county where they meet the residency requirements. The petitioner is the spouse that files for the divorce. They must provide the other spouse, the respondent, with the divorce petition copies and any other relevant paperwork. After a successful divorce, the spouses will need to understand that the property acquired during a marriage is considered as community property and belongs to both spouses. Thus, they will need to split the assets during the divorce.
Once both spouses have understood community property, they have to decide on how to divide the assets. California law allows spouses to make this decision among them if they are able, but they can also look for a mediator for assistance. If the couple cannot agree with the aid of a mediator, then a judge can make the decisions. Both parties should abide by the decisions of the judges.