California Divorce Law



~ Contact ~

The Law Offices of

Keith F. Simpson,

A Professional Corporation

1334 Parkview Avenue,

Suite 325,

Manhattan Beach,

California 90266

(310) 297-9090

(310) 297-9190 - FAX



Family Law consists of a wide variety of legal matters, including, but, not limited to:

Divorce, Parentage, Child Custody, Child Support Collection, Child Support Enforcement, Spousal Support, Post-Judgment Modifications, Adoptions, Third-Party Visitation Rights – Grandparent’s Rights, Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements, and Involvement with Social Services.


           What Type Of Case Do You Have ?


Divorce, also known, as “dissolution of a marriage” is the legal procedure necessary to end a marriage between a man and a woman. 

California is a “no-fault” state when a person wants a divorce. This means that there is no need to allege fault on the part of either spouse. Family Code § 2310.  If one person seeks a divorce, a divorce may be granted. The bases are irreconcilable differences between the spouses, or incurable insanity. Irreconcilable differences are those grounds that are determined by the Court to be substantial reasons for not continuing the marriage.  Incurable insanity may involve the appointment of a guardian or conservator.

Residency requirements

One spouse must reside in California for at least six months, and in the county where the case is filed for at least three months, immediately before the filing of a divorce.  Family Code § 2320.  It does not matter where the marriage occurred. After the filing of the case, the parties may move out of the state. California will still have authority to grant a divorce.

Legal Separation

Legal Separation is the formal separation of a couple. It is a substitute instead of divorce. The couple proceeds in the same manner as a divorce in that there is a division of the assets. Child custody, timeshare, child support and spousal support issues are addressed.   A couple usually seeks a Legal Separation if there are religious reasons, or if a dependent spouse needs to remain on medical care and is not able to afford it alone.

Summary Dissolution

Summary Dissolution is requested when there is no need for a court appearance. Parties can request a Summary Dissolution if they meet all of the following requirements of Family Code §§ 2400-2406:

  1. Bullet the divorce is based on irreconcilable differences

  2. have been married fewer than 5 years

  3. there are NO children of the marriage, and the wife is not pregnant

  4. the parties do not own any real property

  5. there is less than $4,000.00 in community debts, except vehicles

  6. own less than $25,000.00 in community property interests, except vehicles

  7. Bullet have less than $25,000.00 in separate property interests, except vehicles

If the parties do not meet the requirements for Summary Dissolution, the parties must file for a “regular” divorce. The parties seeking a summary dissolution will sign a property agreement. They each waive their rights to spousal support. The divorce will be finalized 6 months after the filing of the Petition for Summary Dissolution. During the 6-month time, either party can stop the summary dissolution and request a “regular” divorce. However, if the Judgment is entered, it will not be appealable.

After you have decided which case is best for you, please proceed to YOUR ACTION:



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