Divorce Basics:

Olivia Garibay Pettenó

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Attorney at law

Olivia Garibay Pettenó

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No Fault Divorce
California is a “no fault” divorce state, which means that the spouse  asking for the divorce does not have to prove the other spouse did something wrong.

Can My Spouse Object to the Divorce?

No, either spouse can decide to end the marriage, and the other spouse, even if he or she does not want to get a divorce, cannot stop the process by refusing to participate in the case.

When you start a divorce case, you can ask the judge to make orders about:

Child Custody and Visitation;

Child support;

Spousal Support;

Division of Property; and

Who will be responsible for paying debts.

How Long Does the Divorce Process Take?

The divorce process will take at least 6 months and one day. This is a mandatory waiting period required by California law and no couple can be divorced faster than 6 months.


California Residency Requirements

You MUST meet California’s residency requirements. Either you or your spouse must have lived in:

California for the last 6 months, AND
The county where you plan to file the divorce for the last 3 months.

If you and your spouse have lived in California for at least 6 months but in different counties for at least 3 months, you can file in either county.

If you do not meet the residency requirement, you can still file for a legal separation. Once enough time has passed so that you meet the residency requirement for a divorce, you may file an “amended petition” and ask the court for a divorce.