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Must There Be A Valid Reason To Divorce In California?


California is a no-fault state, so there does not have to be a reason for divorce, other than that the person filing for divorce believes that irreconcilable differences have arisen such that the marriage cannot be saved. That is the only requirement for a divorce in California.

Are There Any Benefits to Filing First for Divorce When There IS a Pre Or Post Nuptial in Place?

The most beneficial reason for filing for divorce first is the psychological advantage that you’re the petitioner, so you are the one driving the process. Oftentimes, that makes the difference, psychologically, to the parties. As far as the courts are concerned, however, it usually doesn’t make any difference at all.

Is Mediation Better Than the Court Process in a Divorce Case?

Mediation is a process whereby a mediator attempts to get the parties to come together into an agreement. A good mediation is a place where no one is happy but no one is severely disappointed. You may be happy that you came to an agreement but no one gets everything they want; it’s a compromise on the issues. Mediation would include coming together to sort things out and divide up the property, whether there is a prenuptial or a postnuptial marital agreement or not. If there is a prenuptial or a postnuptial agreement, it would lay the groundwork upon which the mediation is begun.

If you want to overturn a prenuptial agreement, then you’re most likely not going to have success in mediation and it may be a total waste of time. A judge is the only one who can make the decision to set aside a prenuptial agreement or determine that one or more of its provisions are invalid.

What Is the Process of a Divorce Involving Pre or Post Nuptial Agreements?

In a divorce, it starts with filing a petition, serving the other side with service of process, and then they would file a response. The next step is financial disclosures. That is the point where the prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement will come into play with which property is separate property and which property is community property. A party is required to disclose all of their property, not just the community property. If there is a prenuptial agreement stating that a certain property is the separate property of the petitioner, it still has to be disclosed that he owns that property, what the value is, and whether or not there is income derived from it.

Just because it is separate property doesn’t mean that it’s not going to affect other things, such as child support. If one party has a ton of separate property that is generating income or could generate income, that will affect child support. If it goes to a trial, then that prenuptial agreement must have been disclosed early on, along with the property disclosures, for the court to effectively consider it. After the disclosure period, there may be some hearings for child support or spousal support where the prenuptial agreement may come into play. Then, we go into either settlement courts or informal settlement conference trials.

How Long Does It Generally Take to Resolve a Divorce Case in California?

Finalization of the dissolution of marriage can be done immediately upon filing the petition if the parties are in full agreement. All of the paperwork could be drawn up prior to filing and submitted to the court. The court would, in about six weeks, approve everything. However, the parties wouldn’t be divorced for six months and one day, even if judgments are entered prior to that because there is a six month and one day cooling-off period in California. If there is an argument over the prenuptial agreement, then it could take much longer. Typically, it could take two to three years.

Does Having a Pre Or Post Nuptial Agreement Make a Divorce Case Proceed Faster?

When there is a prenuptial agreement in place that is valid and both parties recognize that it’s valid, then a divorce moves smoother and faster. If that prenuptial agreement is opposed, then it tends to make it more difficult to go through the divorce process.

How Do You Define a Successful Outcome in a Divorce Case?

A successful outcome in a divorce case is one where the parties don’t hate each other; they just recognize that they have differences and they’re going to move on with their lives. If they have children, both parents effectively and support each other. When people divorce and it’s a totally vitriolic situation, then it’s successful. Dividing the property according to the laws of California and all of the attorneys getting paid would make for a successful divorce.

The main thing to be aware of is that there are special rules and it’s not just the agreement of the parties that matters. It matters whether or not an agreement complies with the law. If you get prenuptial or postnuptial agreement done by an attorney who has experience, then it should be a valid agreement. You need to have someone explain the law to you and explain what the current requirements are.

For more information on Valid Reason to Divorce in California, a consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (916) 915-8866 today.

California Probate Lawyer Peter Cianchetta

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(916) 915-8866

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