In California, the divorce rate has hovered around 9 per 1,000 people in recent years, slightly higher than the national average. California is a community property state, but there are strategies and legal mechanisms available to protect the assets during a divorce.

Las Vegas asset protection lawyer Ken Ashworth says combined assets can be difficult to divide if the marriage does not work. Financial issues can indeed complicate the process of divorce. If you’re thinking of filing for a divorce in California, you need to understand the legal grounds for divorce, its filing process, child custody matters, spousal support, and how to finalize the divorce process.

Read on and find out how these aspects of the process may affect you or those around you.

Legal Grounds for Divorce in California

The divorce process in California operates under community property law, which means that marital assets and debts acquired during the marriage are generally divided equally between spouses upon divorce, regardless of who earned or acquired them. California allows both no-fault and fault-based divorces. In a no-fault divorce, you don’t need to prove that your spouse did something wrong to cause the marriage to end. All you have to demonstrate is that there are irreconcilable differences, making it impossible to continue the marriage.

While fault-based grounds include reasons like adultery, cruelty, abandonment, or imprisonment of your spouse, Proving fault complicates the divorce process and may result in a longer and more contentious legal battle. If you’re unsure about which grounds apply to your situation, consulting with a qualified family law attorney can provide you with the guidance you need to handle this challenging time.

Filing for Divorce in California

This petition is typically filed in the county where either you or your spouse reside. The petition will outline basic information about your marriage, such as the date of marriage, separation, and any children involved. Once the petition is filed, a copy must be served to your spouse. This can be done through a third party, a process server, or by mail if your spouse agrees to accept service. After the petition is filed and served, your spouse has 30 days to respond. If your spouse fails to respond within this timeframe, you may be able to proceed with the divorce uncontested. But if your spouse does respond, the next steps in the divorce process will depend on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested.

Resolving Child Custody Matters

Communication and cooperation between you and your spouse are important in resolving the child custody matter. In California, the court encourages parents to reach a mutually agreeable custody arrangement through mediation or negotiation. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement, the court will step in to make a decision based on the best interests of the child.


When determining child custody, the court considers factors such as the child’s age, health, and emotional ties to each parent. Be prepared with a proposed custody plan that outlines the physical and legal custody arrangements you’re seeking. Remember to remain open-minded and flexible during this process, as compromise may be necessary to reach a resolution that benefits your children. By approaching child custody matters with a cooperative mindset, you can have a smoother transition for your family during this challenging time.

Understanding Spousal Support in California

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a financial assistance given by one spouse to the other during and after a divorce. In California, the court may award temporary or permanent spousal support based on various factors like the length of the marriage, each spouse’s earning capacity, contributions to the household, and the standard of living established during the marriage. The amount and duration of spousal support can differ from case to case. Temporary spousal support is typically awarded during the divorce proceedings to maintain the status quo until a final decision is reached. Permanent spousal support may be awarded post-divorce and can be modified based on changing circumstances.

Finalizing Your California Divorce

After all the required forms have been filled out correctly and signed, you’ll need to make at least two copies of each document. One set is for your records, while the other is for filing with the court.


Once you have all the paperwork organized, you’ll submit it to the court clerk, along with the appropriate filing fee. The court will then analysis the documents to ensure everything is in order. If any issues arise, the court may request additional information or clarification.

Once the court approves your paperwork, a judge will analysis your case. If everything meets the legal requirements, the judge will issue a final judgment, officially ending your marriage. Remember to follow all court procedures carefully for a smoother and more timely finalization of your divorce.


By knowing the important steps and seeking assistance from lawyers when you need it, you can get through this tough time with confidence. Remember that better days will come, so prioritize conversation, cooperation, and self-care at the top of your list during this process.