A Beginner’s Guide to Divorce Or Separation Law
Divorce is a very complicated process; it is almost impossible to change anything once it begins. In this guide, you will learn about the Ground rules for a divorce in New York and California, Property division in a divorce, and how to file for divorce in your state.
Ground Rules for Divorcing in California
There are several grounds for divorce in California. One of them is irreconcilable differences. This means that the marriage is irremediably broken. In this case, neither spouse has to prove the other’s fault. In divorce proceedings, the courts are more interested in reorganizing the lives of the divorcing couple than in establishing fault.
The other ground for divorce is that one spouse has the right to initiate the divorce process. A spouse files a divorce petition, called a Petitioner. The state recognizes the Petitioner’s unilateral right to divorce the other spouse. While responding to the petition does not mean that you agree with the divorce, it helps the court to understand your side of the story and protect your legal rights.
Alternatively, a divorce petitioner may file for a summary dissolution of marriage, which does not require a formal court hearing. This procedure can be very convenient since it avoids a trial and saves both parties time and money. However, it is not available for all marriages.
Grounds for Divorcing in New York
If you’re a married New Yorker, you may wonder if there are grounds for divorce. While the state does not require a reason for divorce, many couples choose to separate to minimize financial strains. Legal separation may also give a couple more time to prepare for divorce you may ask your divorce attorney.
If your spouse commits adultery, you can use this as grounds for a divorce or separation in New York. First, however, you need to meet certain requirements. For instance, you must have sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse for a year. Also, infidelity must be documented by a third party.
In New York, you have three basic grounds for divorce or separation. You can use one of these grounds if you agree that your marriage is irretrievably broken and you can no longer live together. You can also use one of these grounds if you and your spouse have been living apart for one year under a court-granted separation decree or a separation agreement.
Property Division in a Divorce
When getting a divorce or separation, you and your partner will likely disagree about how to divide your property. New York’s Equitable Distribution Law aims to ensure that property is distributed fairly, based on what is fair and equitable for both parties. The laws define separate and marital property, and the courts will weigh several factors when determining the division of your assets. If you have children together, for instance, you can be sure that your children’s interests will be emphasized in the process.
Property division laws differ from state to state. Some states have community property laws, and others do not. In the United States, community property laws require the parties to split their assets equitably. Usually, the courts will divide assets, earnings, debts, personal property, proceeds from sales, and other assets fairly. In some cases, the court may order one spouse to give the other spouse a portion of their separate property.
While you and your partner are not required to disclose all assets, you should make a complete list. Failure to do so could result in penalties and a reopening of the divorce case. Also, you should value all property, including your home, and make a fair market value estimate. You can often find this online, but in some cases, you may need to have it appraised by an appraiser.
Filing a Divorce in California
Filing a divorce in California is a legal process. The initial step is to file a petition and serve your spouse. The process takes about 30 days. After filing, your spouse can file a response or contest your case. If your spouse refuses to sign the response, the divorce cannot proceed.
You can file for divorce in California using one of two methods. One is to serve your spouse personally, while the other is through the mail. The latter is generally more polite and cost-effective, although it may take longer than personally knocking on the door. Either way, your spouse must sign a document acknowledging receipt of the documents. If you serve your spouse in person, you’ll have to wait six months before they can contest the divorce.
Another option for filing a divorce in California is to file with the county where you live. For instance, if you are a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, you can file for a divorce in Orange County. You may need to provide your spouse with a mailing address in Los Angeles.