To get a divorce in California, at least one of the spouses has to have been a resident of the state for at least six months before filing the divorce petition. You must also live in the county where you file the divorce petition for at least three months before filing. Once you file the divorce petition and serve it on your spouse, you will have to wait at least six months for your divorce to be finalized.
If you have been married for less than five years, have no children, don't own real estate, and have relatively limited property and debts, you may qualify for a summary dissolution.
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This is a simpler process, which generally doesn't require an appearance before a judge. You and your spouse must create an agreement about how you will divide your property and debts, and file it -- along with a joint divorce petition and other required forms -- with the court. Although you still have to wait six months before your divorce becomes final, you don't have to go through a lot of the procedures and appearances required for a regular divorce. If you don't qualify for a summary dissolution, a typical dissolution of marriage requires the following steps:.
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For more on your options to proceed with a divorce, see The Divorce Process. If you're considering a divorce, there are several major issues you have to consider. You'll need to understand how property and debt will be split between you and your spouse, who will get custody of any children, who will pay child and or spousal support alimony , and how much. You can find legal information on all of these topics and more in our section on California Divorce and Family Laws.
This rule of law appears to have prevailed in California practically from the inception of statehood. The following cases and language therefrom, while not meant as an exhaustive catalogue of the authorities on the subject, are illustrative of the point: Morgan v. Morgan Cal.
Whiting 62 Cal. Freitas Cal.
McCahan 47 Cal. Loveren Cal. Such agreements by which the parties provide for their property rights are not ipso facto, illegal and void. Antenuptial agreements dealing with property owned prior to marriage and property and earnings accumulated subsequent to marriage are generally valid. In re Marriage of Dawley 17 Cal.
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Dawley, nevertheless, reaffirmed the rule that such contracts are offensive to the public policy of this state if the "terms of the contract 'facilitate,' 'encourage,' or 'promote' divorce or dissolution. The court further pointed out that the term "facilitate" should not be misconstrued so as to render illegal agreements that merely define the property rights of spouses, thereby simplifying the issues and reducing the costs of a dissolution proceeding. The agreement before us, however, is not of the type that seeks to define the character of property acquired after marriage nor does it seek to ensure the separate character of property acquired prior to marriage.
This agreement is surely different and speaks to a wholly unrelated subject. It constitutes a promise by the husband to give the wife a very substantial amount of money and property, but only upon the occurrence of a divorce. No one could reasonably contend this agreement encourages the husband to seek a dissolution. Common sense and fiscal prudence dictate the opposite.
Such is not the case with the wife. She, for her part, is encouraged by the very terms of the agreement to seek a dissolution, and with all deliberate speed, lest the husband suffer an untimely demise, nullifying the contract, and the wife's right to the money and property. The Supreme Court of Ohio recently upheld the basic validity of antenuptial agreements as long as the terms of such agreements do not promote or encourage divorce or profiteering by divorce. Gross v. Gross 11 Ohio St. Speaking on the subject, that court described a hypothetical provision that it considered violative of public policy as follows: " One is struck by the remarkable similarity of the hypothetical posed by that court and the agreement now before this court.
In this case, the primary focus at trial was on the existence vel non of the agreement with Kambiz contending he had been coerced into signing it just moments prior to the ceremony and Farima disputing this with a version that had Kambiz volunteering the document immediately before the ceremony as a token of his honor and good intentions.
In all fairness to the trial court we note the existence issue overshadowed the issues of validity and public policy with the result that little evidence was introduced relative to the latter. Kambiz and his brother testified that the document was given to Farima's father. In any event, the document could not be found for trial. The kethuba is a marriage document which represents the obligation of the husband under the Jewish faith to, inter alia, provide for his wife upon divorcing her.
Since the husband could apparently divorce his wife at will, the kethuba was a device created to provide economic security for the wife; but was also intended to discourage divorce by making it costly and undesireable for the husband. The wife, on the other hand, was not as free to divorce and was subject to loss or reduction of her rights should she divorce her husband on certain grounds.
Kambiz and Farima were married for seven and one-half months when Farima filed for divorce. Her petition alleged the existence of an antenuptial agreement setting forth the property rights of the parties.
The issue of the existence and validity of the agreement was bifurcated from the dissolution proceeding and heard first. Frances and Charles Kandel had known Farima for several years prior to her marriage. Farima lived with the Kandels for the two years preceding [ Cal.
Kandel testified that when she and her family arrived for the Noghrey wedding Farima and Kambiz were not yet present, nor were Farima's parents. As she entered the hotel where the wedding was to take place, Mrs.
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Kandel was met by Kambiz' brother, Jamshid, who asked Mrs. Kandel and her husband to step aside.
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He handed Mrs. Kandel a piece of paper and pen and then began, with Kambiz' cousin, dictating terms of a premarital agreement. Kandel believes was given to the rabbi. Kandel then brought the completed document to Kambiz for his signature. Kambiz indicated he knew what the document was and that he wanted to sign the agreement. Kandel testified she cautioned Kambiz to be very careful and to read the document because he would be giving his wife half of everything he had. She inquired whether Kambiz wanted to sign the document. According to Mrs.
Kandel, Kambiz indicated he would gladly give the property to his bride-to-be and he appeared serious when making the statement. Kambiz and Farima then signed the document, with Mr. Kandel and Kambiz' cousin signing as witnesses. Farima testified that she signed the document because a husband has to give some protection to a new wife in case of divorce. She explained that it is hard for an Iranian woman to remarry after a divorce because she is no longer a virgin. In return for the premarital agreement, Farima gave Kambiz assurances that she was a virgin and was medically examined for that purpose.
Kambiz testified that he did not wish to sign the agreement but was coerced into doing so by Farima's mother. Kambiz claimed he told Mrs. Human he did not want to sign the agreement but she forced him into doing so by stating there would be no wedding if he did not sign. Kambiz' brother Jamshid, also testified that Farima's mother coerced Kambiz into signing the agreement. Jamshid testified he did not dictate terms to Mrs. Kandel [ Cal. Kambiz testified he believed Farima's mother or father told Mrs.
Kandel what to put into the agreement.