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San Diego in 2012: Different Types of Divorce

Each state has its own rules on divorce and the different types of divorce they grant. California is no exception. The San Diego Superior Court follows the Family Law Code of California. Generally these various categories are governed by clearly defined factors and regulations which guide San Diego Judges and courts located in San Diego, Chula Vista, Vista and El Cajon before the move to officially dissolve a marriage. Here are some different types of divorce.

Fault and No-Fault Divorce

In the past, some states would only grant a divorce if one spouse had committed a wrong and was ‘at fault’. This was considered an adequate reason for failure of a marriage and ‘grounds for divorce’. Such wrongdoings included physical and/or mental cruelty, adultery, desertion, physical incapacity for purposes of sexual intercourse, incurable insanity, and confinement in prison. If the defending party did not want the divorce, he or she had to defend himself or herself in court and deny or disprove the wrongdoings they were being accused of. This led to Court’s hearing testimony from both the husband and the wife. In fact, as of 2012, there are still two countries which will not grant a divorce: Vatican City and the Philippines.

Also, in the past, many States, including California, would divide property unequally if there was “fault” at the time of the judgment of the divorce.

In the recent past [1970's], California set a new trend altering the way people perceived divorce. San Diego, California, now has a no-fault divorce law which made it easy for people to get out of their marriage by allowing for a divorce whether or not consent was given by the other spouse. This also changed the division of property as now fault [infidelity for example] does not mean that the property will be divided unequally. There are very limited exceptions to this [omitted assets for example] but the San Diego Superior Court Judges will divide the property one half each pursuant to the current law in the vast majority of the cases.

Today states have different laws. Some allow no-fault divorces. A no-fault divorce is precisely what it implies – no party is at fault for the marriage to have failed. A no-fault divorce disregards misconduct if there was any. ‘Incompatibility’ or ‘irreconcilable differences’ are the two most common reasons for dissolution. In such divorces no explanations are required nor called for (for many reasons). Most states do not look for consent to the divorce by either party. While a spouse who does not want a divorce can object to the granting of the termination of the marital status, in San Diego, the Judge will eventually grant.

Contested and Uncontested divorces

An uncontested divorce is one where either spouse does not:

Dispute the other spouse’s divorce request or plan of division of marital assets and debts, alimony, child custody, and child support or any other legal issues.

In such cases a mutual agreement is reached on all issues which makes it a divorce by agreement. In San Diego, this is commonly referred to as a “marriage settlement agreement” On the other hand, if an agreement cannot be reached on all issues then it becomes a contested divorce where the case will have to be settled by a Judge in San Diego Superior Court if the case is not settled prior by agreement or at the mandatory settlement conference set by many Judges in San Diego Courts. Contested divorces are invariably more protracted, bitter, and cost considerably more in aggravation, frustration and legal fees than uncontested divorces.

Simplified Divorce

A simplified divorce is allowed by some states. This accelerates the process which is generally settled without having to refer the matter to court. Simplified divorce is arguably the cheapest form of divorce and the least stressful. A simplified divorce is a no-fault divorce which is uncontested and where there are no matters of settlement under dispute.

Each state has its own laws for a simplified divorce. In some states you only need to fill out some forms and have the judge approve the settlement agreement. Other states make simplified divorce an easy matter if there is not any dependent children involved and no unpaid financial debts. Simplified divorces are generally fast-tracked and could be as quick as 30-days from filing.

In San Diego, this procedure is called a “Summary Dissolution”. There are many factors which you must meet to qualify including, but not limited to, being married less than five years, no minor children, no real estate, no spousal support, limited assets and many others. In addition, of course, you must agree on all legal issues.

A Law Firm for You

The family law firm of Doppelt and Forney, APLC of San Diego is experienced in all forms of divorce and divorce related issues such as child custody and support, visitation rights, alimony, and spousal support. If you are considering divorce you could avail of a free 30-minute virtual consultation to know what your best options are.

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