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Divorce in Los Angeles CA  April 19, 2015 – 12:44 am
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Child Support and Divorce Lawyer in Los Angeles OVERVIEW OF THE DIVORCE PROCESSWhat are the grounds for divorce in California?First, it is called Dissolution in California. California is a no fault state which means that the Court will
not examine which party is at fault in deciding issues such as the division of community property and
support. There are, however, residency requirements. Either you or your spouse must have lived in
California for the last 6 months, AND the county where you plan to file the divorce for the last 3
months. If you and your spouse have lived in California for at least 6 months but in different counties
for at least 3 months, you can file in either county.
How do I start the dissolution process?You must file and serve on your spouse a Petition and Summons. The Petition and Summons must be
filed with the Court before you can serve it upon the other spouse. You are now the Petitioner in the
action and your spouse is the Respondent. Unless you qualify for a waiver of the fee, there is a filing
fee which at the time of writing is $320. The Petition and other court forms can be found at
courtinfo.ca.gov/forms. If there are children you also have to serve and file a UCCJEA declaration
regarding the children of the marriage.
What do I do if I am served with a Petition and Summons?As the Respondent you have 30 days to file and serve a Response. Unless you qualify for a fee
waiver, you must also pay the $320 filing fee. If you do not file and serve in time your Response, the
Petitioner may apply for a default judgment.
Are there any other consequences of being served with a Petition and Summons?Yes. First, the date of service starts the clock ticking for the earliest time when you can get a
Judgment of Dissolution. The marital status of the parties cannot be terminated any earlier than 6
months after the date when the Petition and Summons were served. Second, the Summons has
automatic restraining orders which are applicable to both parties. If either party breaks one of these
orders they may be held in contempt of Court.

These orders provide that both parties (1) may not remove either of the children of the marriage from
the State of California without obtaining the written consent from the other, or a Court order, (2) may
not cash, borrow against, cancel, transfer, dispose of, or change the beneficiary of any insurance or
other coverage held for either’s benefit, (3) may not transfer, encumber, conceal, or in any way
dispose of any real or personal property without the written consent of the other or a Court order,
except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life. Further, if either party wishes to
make any extraordinary expenditure, they must notify the other at least five days before they incur the
expense, and in the event that they make any such expenditure, they must be prepared to account to
the Court. Parties are not, however, precluded from using community property to pay reasonable
attorney fees in order to retain legal counsel in this action.

Source: www.la-familylaw.com


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