Legal Separation or Divorce

As a family law attorney I represent individuals in contested actions to establish support, division of property, settlement agreements and other family law matters. I have worked with clients as their attorney of record, or on a limited scope basis where I only consult with them on certain aspects of their case.


California is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce.  Generally speaking, this means that there is no reason required for one spouse to request a divorce from the other spouse. Moreover, it is not necessary that the other spouse consent to or approve of the divorce, or that they even participate in the divorce proceedings.

Residency Requirements:  a Judgment of dissolution of marriage will not be entered unless one of the parties to the marriage has been a California state  resident for  six months and of the county in which the proceedings is filed for three moths before filing the petition.

Grounds for Filing:   a) irreconcilable differences, which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage or b) incurable insanity.


In California legal separation will sever the tie of community property, so that the earnings of one spouse do not automatically become 50 percent owned by the other.  After separation, the spouses live as if they were divorced, without ending their marriage.  Many of the same laws that govern divorce in California also govern legal separation.

Residency Requirements:  Unlike for a divorce, there are no residency requirements for filing for legal separation in California, which makes legal separation useful for those seeking a divorce who have not yet met the state’s residence requirements.

Grounds for Filing:   The grounds for filing for a legal separation are the  same as grounds for divorce.  A Judgment of legal  separation determines support, child custody, visitation and community property rights.  The separation resolves all issues except the termination of the marriage.

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