Download completed California divorce, annulment, or legal separation forms based upon the answers you provide in the online interview. We provide California State Approved downloadable California divorce kits, complete with divorce instructions, to allow you to obtain a divorce in California. Download your uncontested or no fault California divorce papers and eliminate any divorce attorney.

Getting a Divorce in California

Divorce can seem like the end of the world: it’s confusing, overwhelming, and fraught with uncertainty. Worst of all, it can feel like you’re going through the whole ordeal completely alone, which is surely one of the most depressing and painful feelings to feel during a divorce. And to top it off, divorce can involve a mountain of complex legal paperwork, confusing state laws, obscure legal procedures, and waiting periods.

That’s where the team steps in. Our crew of veteran divorce professionals are experts in handling divorce cases in every US state as well as in every Canadian province. Not only that, but we do the hard work for you, by completing your paperwork and preparing everything that you will need to complete your divorce. We do all this so you can focus on more important parts of your life — like yourself, your family, or your career. When you are ready to divorce, you want the team behind you.

Like all states, California has unique laws and requirements that you should be aware of prior to your divorce. Below is a brief summary of some of the most important information you will need to know.

Residency Requirements

The first thing you should verify is if you satisfy California’s residency requirements. In order to get a divorce in California, you will first need to:

  • Have lived in California for at least six months; AND
  • Have lived in the county in which you will file for at least 90 days.

Also, keep in mind that California mandates a six month waiting period for all divorces. Once you file, you will need to wait a minimum of six months before your divorce will be finalized.

[California Code – Sections: 297, 298, 2320, 2339]

Legal Grounds for Divorcing in California

Legal grounds are the reasons or reason for your court. There are two categories of grounds: no-fault and its opposite, fault, or what many states call “general” grounds. In a no-fault divorce, no one is to blame and the court does not consider who is at fault for the divorce. In a fault or general divorce, the court will consider who is to blame or is at fault for the divorce – and as such, they require evidence be submitted to the court. These are more complex and difficult cases, and are usually more time consuming and expensive.

California acknowledges one no-fault grounds for divorce:

  • Irreconcilable differences leading to an “irretrievable breakdown” in the marriage.

Likewise, California only considers one ground for a general or fault divorce:

  • Incurable insanity. You will need to provide some kind of proof that your spouse is legally insane to claim this ground.

Distribution of Property in a California Divorce

The state of California is a community property state. This means that when it comes time to divide your marital estate, the court will consider what property is “separate” and what property is “communal.” Communal property is any property that you and your spouse acquired while you were married. Separate property is anything you owned or carried before your marriage; you will retain this after your divorce.

In California, generally speaking, the court will start from the premise that a 50-50 division is a fair and equitable way to divide your marital estate.

[California Code – Sections: 2501, 2581, 2601, 2602, 2621, 2623, 2625, 2641]

Alimony and Financial Maintenance in California

California divorce courts may order you or your spouse to pay support to the other to offset the loss of income and resources when you divorce. It will consider a number of factors, including:

  • The standard of living you enjoyed while married, and the extent to which you and your spouse’s earning capacity can maintain that standard after you divorce;
  • Your marketability and employability, given your educational, technical, or vocational skill sets;
  • The amount of time, if any, that you or your spouse was unemployed while working as a homemaker or caretaker, and how long this absence will impact their earning capacity;
  • If you or your spouse contributed to the other’s training, education, or increased earning capacity;
  • How long you were married;
  • You and your spouse’s ages and overall health;
  • The resources and financial means of you and your spouse;

Child Support & Custody in California

Child Support

California uses the Income Shares Model to calculate child support. Using pre-determined figures and tables, the state will calculate a share of you or your spouse’s income that is sufficient to pay child support.

Child Custody

The court will consider what is in the child’s best interest when it makes any custody decisions. Some factors that it will take into account when rendering a decision include:

  • The preference of the child;
  • The ability of you or your spouse to provide a loving environment for the child;
  • The age, health, and welfare of the child;
  • The presence or evidence of domestic abuse;
  • Any indications of addiction to drugs or alcohol.

[California Code – Sections: 3011, 3020, 3024, 3040, 3042]