Divorce/Domestic Partnership

A dissolution of marriage or domestic partnership is the process of ending a marital or domestic partnership relationship between two people.

There are 3 main ways to end a marriage or registered domestic partnership in California: divorce, legal separation, and annulment. It is not necessary for both spouses or domestic partners to agree to end the marriage. Either spouse or partner can decide to end the marriage, and the other spouse/partner, even if he or she does not want to get a divorce, cannot stop the process by refusing to participate in the case. If a spouse or domestic partner does not participate in the divorce case, the other spouse/partner will still be able to get a 'default' judgment and the divorce will go through.

California is a 'no fault' divorce state, which means that the spouse or domestic partner that is asking for the divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse or domestic partner did something wrong. To get a no fault divorce, one spouse or domestic partner has to state that the couple cannot get along. Legally, this is called 'irreconcilable differences.' (California Courts, 2013)

How a dissolution is finalized is ultimately up to the parties. If appropriate for your circumstances, an uncontested dissolution can save you a significant amount of money as there is no high-cost litigation involved and both parties are in agreement with the final Judgment.


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