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To file for dissolution (divorce) either you or your spouse must meet California's residency requirements. The soonest your divorce can be final is six months and 1 day from the day the responding spouse is served or files a response- whichever is earlier.
Property issues are generally resolved by a Marital Settlement Agreement between the parties. If the parties do not agree, contested issues can be set for court determination.
If you do not meet the residency requirement for California, you may file for a legal separation.
Unmarried parents may file a Petition to Establish Parentage to protect parental rights and/or establish parental obligations. This action can proceed as an uncontested or contested matter.
A Request for Order for Custody and Visitation may be filed by married or unmarried parents to obtain a Custody Order that is enforceable. The Court will make custody orders it believes are in the best interest of the child.
In the event of an imminent threat of danger to the health or safety of a child, the Court may make emergency orders on shortened time. This is a very high standard to meet.
In California, parents are generally required to mediate before the Court will make Custody Orders. As parents, you know your child best and the Court wants to give you an opportunity to work together to create an Order on your own that is in the best interest of your child(ren). If you cannot reach an agreement, the Court will make an Order based on the information before it.
Child support is based on a mandatory uniform guideline using each parents tax filing status and average monthly income. A request for child support or to modify child support can be brought before the Court and support obligations continue as long as the child is under 18 or graduates high school or turns 19- whichever comes first.
One spouse may request spousal support from the other by making a request for order. Where there is a disparity in income, the Court often awards temporary spousal support using a support guideline similar to the child support guideline. Once a final Judgement or separation or divorce is entered, the Court must consider additional factors in determining whether spousal support should continue and for how long.
A restraining Order is a Court Order issued to prevent acts of abuse from recurring. A restraining order can be issued on a temporary basis without a hearing if there is sufficient justification. A permanent restraining order requires a hearing with testimony and evidence demonstrating that the party sought to be restrained committed an act of abuse as defined under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act.
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