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Family Law Blog

Why Get Divorced When You’re Already Separated?

If you are legally separated, you may wonder why you need to get divorced. For some, the benefit of divorce over legal separation is not apparent. Is there a reason to get divorced if you are already separated? First, consider the legal definitions. Legal separation is a legal arrangement by which a couple remains married,…

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I am Afraid that my Abusive Spouse Will Find Out Where I Have Moved, How Can I Protect Myself?

There is a relatively new program in California that helps protect victims of domestic violence, known as the California “Safe At Home Confidential Address Program”. On January 1, 2007, a confidential mail forwarding program administered by the California Secretary of State’s Office called “Safe At Home” took effect to protect victims of domestic violence. The…

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Do I have Any Immediate Rights and Orders When I File and Serve My California Divorce Paperwork?

Yes, you have immediate rights and order that take effect when spouse is served.  The importance of personally serving the Summons and Petition on your spouse is that the Summons includes automatic, build-in family law restraining orders preventing either spouse from selling or giving away any property, changing any insurance policies or beneficiaries, or taking…

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What is Annulment, and When is it More Appropriate to Seek Instead of Divorce?

Petitioning for a judgment of nullity (instead of divorce) is appropriate where the validity of the marriage is in doubt, i.e. that no valid marriage ever occurred from its inception because it was void or voidable. In other words, whereas a divorce matter seeks to terminate marital status, a nullity action seeks to determine whether…

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When is Filing for a Legal Separation More Appropriate vs. a Divorce?

In situations where a party wants to obtain orders for child custody, visitation, and/or other issues but has not lived in the same county for the past three months or in California for the past six months to meet the time requirements for filing for a divorce, that party can file for Legal Separation and…

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What is the Legal Basis for a Divorce in California?

In the State of California, there are only two legal reasons for ending a marriage: (1) “Irreconcilable Differences”; or (2) Incurable Insanity. Irreconcilable differences means that no amount of marital counseling will save the marriage. California is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that you do not have to give the court any other reason for…

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What Are the Residency Requirements to File for Divorce or Legal Separation in California?

To file for divorce in California, you must have been a resident of California for 6 months and of the county in which you are filing the divorce petition for 3 months immediately prior to the filing. There are no residency requirements for filing for Legal Separation in California. Therefore, for persons who cannot meet…

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