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Residency requirements for a California divorce

by | Mar 15, 2023 | Divorce


If you are in an unhappy marriage and have decided that you want to get out, in California, the way for you to obtain a divorce is by going to court. In the state, you don’t have a responsibility to prove that either you or your spouse did anything wrong. This is referred to as a “no-fault divorce.” You can also get a divorce even if your spouse doesn’t agree with the divorce.

The divorce will end your marriage or it will end your domestic partnership. If you want a legal separation, the process is similar to the divorce process. However, the process to obtain an annulment is different from the divorce process.

If I live in California, can I get a divorce anywhere in the United States?

The rule is that if you wish to get a divorce in California, either you or your spouse must have been living in California for the last six months as well as in the county where you reside for at least three months. If you wish to have a legal separation from your spouse, you can file as soon as one of you moves to California. If you decide on a divorce after that, you can switch to a divorce after the proper amount of time.

If you are in a same-sex marriage and you married in California but now reside in a state that doesn’t permit divorces for same-sex couples, you are allowed to file for divorce in the county in which you married. The court has the power to end your marriage but may not have the power to decide about property division, financial support and children. If you have been in a domestic partnership and registered in California, there is no other residency requirement.

How do I finalize my divorce?

Before your divorce will be considered final, you must share the financial information with your spouse. Additionally, you and your spouse must have come to an agreement regarding property division, finances and custody and support of your children. If you are not able to come to an agreement, the court will have to decide. After that, you need to submit the final paperwork to the court so that your divorce becomes officially final. There is a six-month waiting period before your divorce can become final, legally.

Seeking advice from a California divorce lawyer

Going through a divorce is generally not an easy experience. It not only affects you and your spouse but it can also greatly affect your children and other people who are close to you. In such a painful situation, it is probably wise to consult a California divorce lawyer who can help you through the process and help you to protect your rights and those of your children. Although the experience of getting a divorce may be difficult, once you are no longer married, you will be able to look forward to a bright future and happy days.