Attorneys at Our FirmManhattan Beach Attorneys Knowledgeable in Family Law Matters

Even in the best of circumstances, divorce is hard. In addition to dealing with the emotions that accompany this process, you and your spouse may disagree about one or more of the following concerns: how to divide your property, who the children should live with and how much time each parent can spend with them, and whether one spouse should pay spousal support to the other. If you are considering a divorce in the Manhattan Beach area, you should discuss your options with a family law lawyer at the Calderone Law Firm.

Dissolving a Marriage in California

Divorce is the legal termination of a marriage. Related events are annulment and legal separation. In order to file in a California county, either spouse must have lived in the state for six months and in the specific county of filing for at least three months. In some cases, it may be appropriate to file for legal separation and then file an amended divorce petition.

The first step in seeking a divorce is filing a petition for dissolution. In this document, you ask the court to terminate the marriage and state the grounds for divorce. Unlike in some other states, you do not need to prove "fault" in California. However, you do have to state one of two grounds for a no-fault divorce: irreconcilable differences causing an irremediable breakdown of the marriage, or incurable insanity. Generally, it is fairly straightforward to prove that you have irreconcilable differences and that you and your spouse will not be able to work it out. You would need medical or psychiatric testimony from a doctor to prove the incurable insanity basis.

Your spouse will have to respond to the Petition for Dissolution. If the divorce is uncontested, it will be granted more quickly. However, in many cases, spouses do get along well enough to agree on all of the myriad issues that arise during a divorce.

Some of these potentially contested issues include child custody, child support, and spousal support. Child support is calculated according to a formula in most cases, but the court may determine child custody and spousal support using a more nuanced analysis and judgment. For example, in child custody disputes, the "best interests of the child" are of the greatest importance, but each spouse is likely to have a different idea of what the child's best interests actually are. You can request spousal support as soon as you file your case. Sometimes you can obtain a temporary order for spousal support while waiting for the court to render a final judgment.

While most people must file for divorce, some people who want to file for divorce can instead qualify for summary dissolution. In order to get a summary dissolution, your marriage must be shorter than five years, you must have no children, you must not own land or buildings, you must not collectively owe $6,000 or more in community debts, you must have under $41,000 in community property, you must agree to no spousal support for either spouse, and you must have signed a property division agreement.

Seek Legal Guidance for a Divorce in the Manhattan Beach Area

Even divorces that start out amicably can rapidly turn sour. The issues that are determined can affect the rest of your life and the well-being of your family. If you are considering a divorce in Manhattan Beach, our attorneys can advise you on child custody and other complicated matters. The Calderone Law Firm represents individuals in Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, San Pedro, and Torrance. Call us at (310) 706-4101 or contact us via our online form to schedule a consultation.