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Seal Beach Family Law Blog

How long will it take for my divorce to be finalized?

Because every divorce that is filed in the courts of California is based on different facts and involves different litigants, it is impossible to say how long a case will take to reach finalization. However, there are certain requirements that all individuals must meet in order to have their divorce cases reviewed and approved by the courts.

For example, not everyone can file for divorce in California. One of the individuals who will be a party to the divorce must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to divorce paperwork being filed. Additionally, that individual must have lived in the county where the divorce pleadings are filed for at least three months before the court will hear the matter.

Can I divorce my mentally ill spouse?

Divorce can be a complicated issue for any couple, but for a party whose spouse is mentally ill, it can be more challenging. You may be asking yourself if it is even possible to leave the marriage.

Rest assured it is possible to divorce a mentally ill spouse in California. However, how you handle the divorce will determine if it can be granted.

Stalking is a damaging form of domestic violence

From time to time a celebrity news source may report on an incident of stalking that occurred between a media personality and a fan. These forms of stalking are often criminal in nature, and individuals who commit them can be prosecuted in the criminal courts of California. However, there is a second form of stalking that is equally deserving of attention and just as damaging as those that occur between delusional individuals and their objects of fixation: domestic violence stalking.

Domestic violence stalking happens between a victim and someone who knows them. The stalker is often a former partner from a marital or non-marital relationship. Stalking can involve but is not limited to repeated threatening contact with the victim, following the victim, damaging the victim's property or otherwise causing fear for the victim's personal safety.

Understanding postnuptial agreements in California

Even happy couples can benefit from clearly denoting expectations and rights to assets. For this reason, many couples sign prenuptials, and there has been an increase in postnuptial agreements.

To utilize the document properly, it is important to understand what it is and what it contains. There are a few key facts to know about postnuptial agreements in California.

Is an annulment the same thing as a divorce?

Both divorces and annulments end marriages. However, the repercussions of each are very different. Individuals who wish to end their marriage in California are encouraged to explore the legal differences between these two processes and what requirements they mandate in order to be completed.

If a marriage is annulled it is effectively deemed to have never existed because it was never legal. Annulments may be based on incest and bigamy. The presence of one of these factors in a marriage voids the marriage in its entirety and makes it as though the marriage never occurred. Annulments may also be based on marriages entered into due to force or coercion, marriages that involved underage persons and marriages that involved individuals who are physically or mentally incapacitated at the time their relationships were legalized.

Are divorced parties ever awarded alimony by California courts?

Alimony is the payment of money from one former spouse to the other after a divorce. Also known as spousal support, alimony can provide an individual with financial support that can enable them to get their post-divorce life on track. Depending upon a number of factors, the amount and duration of alimony payments that a person will receive can vary greatly.

When a California court assesses whether a person's alimony request should be honored it will evaluate the duration of the couple's marriage. Although other factors weigh into whether an alimony award will be made, individuals who end short marriages are often less likely to be awarded alimony after their divorces than individuals who end long marriages. In addition to the length of a couple's marriage, a court will consider the standard of living that the couple enjoyed during their legal union, the capacity of each of the parties to earn a living and the age and health of the parties.

Certain factors carry significant weight in child custody cases

During family law proceedings, a California court may be required to decide where a child should reside and which of their parents should have custody of them. While in some cases courts determine that the children will benefit from the joint physical custodianship of both of their parents, in other cases courts must choose between the children's parents based on the best information they can gather. This post will touch on a few of the factors courts may evaluate when deciding physical custody matters.

Factors directly related to the child will weigh heavily on how their physical custody will be managed. Courts will look at the child's age as well as their health and determine if they can be moved between the homes of both parents or if they should reside exclusively with one parent.

Legal options are available for victims of domestic violence

Domestic violence is not always obvious. It can be difficult to spot in a California family's household, and it can be challenging to address when victims are afraid to take action against their abusers. Because domestic violence can take on many forms, identifying it as a problem in one's life can be even more challenging.

Domestic violence covers physical and sexual abuse, as well as emotional and mental abuse. It can be suffered by boyfriends and girlfriends, domestic partners and married spouses, children and other loved ones with whom a personal relationship is shared within a household. Domestic violence may leave physical marks on the bodies of victims or the harm that victims suffer may hide below the surface.

Social media and divorce: Just say no

No one thinks that going through a divorce is easy. Dreams and expectations about your life and your future are suddenly shattered--and healing from that takes time, energy and a commitment to do so. It’s not surprising, too, that some wounds never heal, we just learn to live with them.

Our kids, however, are not part of that equation. Dad is dad and Mom is mom regardless of how they might have treated the other spouse. While it’s natural and healthy to vent your frustration and hurt, social media is not the place to do it.

What are the requirements for a summary dissolution of marriage?

In California many divorces follow a somewhat predictable path. The parties to the divorce find legal representatives who may help them advocate for their interests and present their cases in a court of law. A judge may make determinations on how the couple's property will be divided, children will be cared for, and support will be paid. When all relevant issues are finalized the couple may break into two single individuals.

However, for some Californians a more simplified process may be available. Certain couples may seek divorce through summary dissolutions of their marriages. In order to utilize the summary dissolution of marriage process a couple must meet certain criteria.

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