California summary dissolution laws and procedures that allow spouses to start and finish a divorce without going through the typical extended process. To determine whether or not California summary dissolution is an available option, we first have to look at California Family Code section 2400 and determine if all of its elements are met. These elements are: [Read more…]
Let’s talk about California residency in family law cases. The family court cannot enter a judgment of dissolution unless one of the parties was a resident of the State of California for six months and a resident of Orange County for three months immediately before the divorce petition is filed. This California residency requirement is mandatory, which means it is absolutely necessary for the court to have the power to enter a judgment of “dissolution” (divorce).
One way a spouse can get around the residency requirement is to file a petition for “legal separation” and not one for divorce. Once the legal separation petition is filed and served, the spouse who filed it can wait until he or she meets the minimum six-month residency requirement and then “amend” the petition to one for dissolution of marriage. When a spouse does this to get around the California residency requirements in family law cases, the actual filing date of the amended petition for dissolution of marriage is considered the date that the court acquired power to grant a divorce for the purposes of the six-month and three-month residency.
Under what conditions would a spouse need to file a legal separation petition rather than simply waiting to meet the six-month requirement before filing anything with the Orange County family court? There are several scenarios but let’s discuss the most common. [Read more…]