A divorce, also referred to as a dissolution, legally ends a marriage or domestic partnership. It is important to note that if you are married, same-sex couples must fulfill the same requirements as other marriages. As such, it is important to know what the requirements are for divorce of a same-sex married couple.
In the state of California, no major event or fault is required. One or both partners need only state that they have “irreconcilable differences” with your spouse or domestic partner. Judges do not care if one person had an affair or is to blame. This is what makes California a “no-fault” divorce state.
If all requirements are fulfilled properly, a divorce typically takes at least 6 months. Divorces make take longer, but six months is the mandatory waiting period required by California law.
California also has strict residency requirements for obtaining a divorce. In order for couples to legally end their marriage, one or both parties must have lived in California for the last 6 months, AND have lived in the county where they plan to file the divorce for the last 3 months.
Couples that do not meet the residency requirements can still file for a legal separation. If in the future they meet the residency requirement, a couple can file an “amended petition” and change the separation into a divorce. There is an exception for same-sex married couples who got married in California but do not live in California. These couples can file paperwork in California to end their same-sex marriage, despite the residency requirements. However, these couples must file their paperwork in whichever county they were married in. It should also be noted that if neither partners lives in California, courts may not be able to make orders regarding support, property, debt or child custody.
Domestic partnerships in California follow slightly different rules. Anyone who registers a domestic partnership in California, automatically agrees to the jurisdiction of the California courts to dissolve such partnerships. As such, you do NOT need to meet the same residency requirements as married couples. However, if your domestic partnership was NOT registered in California, one or both of you must live in California for at least six months prior to filing and in the county where you plan to file the divorce for at least the last three months. Couples that do not live in California can file and end domestic partnerships in California, but court may not be able to make orders about debt, property, support, or children.
Individual circumstances and facts vary from case to case. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice. Any and all questions about same-sex marriages, divorce, support or family law should be directed to a qualified and experienced family law attorney.About Kensington, California:
Kensington is located in San Diego County and borders Mission Valley. With distinct style and flavor, this community is highly desirable for residents of all ages and races. Perhaps best known for its famous Kensington sign, bustling shops and businesses along Adams Avenue, Kensington is a gorgeous reflection of Spanish-style architecture. The location and proximity to both the city and several major roadways, also makes Kensington a great place to live or work. Health conscious residents also love Kensington because they can walk to and from local businesses without hassle.
For their legal issues, residents of Kensington can use the downtown San Diego Family Court on Sixth Avenue. They can also utilize the Madge Bradley Building on 1409 Fourth Avenue. More information on these facilities can be obtained online or by calling the courthouses directly.About Doppelt & Forney, APLC:
We understand your unique and complex family law issues here at Doppelt & Forney, APLC. With that in mind, we provide a confidential consultation where you can sit down and talk to an experienced attorney about your individual circumstances. At this meeting you will have a chance to discuss your case and your goals. After we hear all of the facts, we will provide you with a game plan of appropriate actions to take next. As members of the San Diego County State Bar Association and San Diego County Better Business Bureau, we offer a friendly staff and excellent service. You can schedule your consultation online or by phone at 858-312-8500. For your convenience, we are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed on all legal holidays.
Our offices are just a short drive from Kensington in Rancho Bernardo. Simply take the I-15 freeway North and exit at Bernardo Center Drive. Take your first left into the Clock Tower Office Complex and enjoy our free parking. We want to be your trusted San Diego family law attorneys. Come see us today.