A Sneak Peak At California Divorce Law: What You Should Know!

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorney Orange County; California Divorce Mediators Divorce in California can be one of the easiest and one of the hardest processes within the family law jurisdiction.  Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions with regards to California divorce law, so that you are able to know what you should about the rules that control in all counties of California, including an Orange County divorce case.

Q. I was married in a foreign country and now I am remarrying. Where do I have to do my divorce papers?

Getting a divorce in California is possible as long as you meet the residency requirements.  As long as you have lived in your county for three months and in California for six months prior to filing for divorce, you can apply for it.

Q. If I divorce my spouse and they get retirement from their job, am I entitled to half of it?

The answer to this question is dependent on the timing of the divorce and the retirement of the spouse. As long as the spouse earned all, most, or even some of the retirement pension during the time of the marriage, then you are entitled to some part of it. The percentage of amount you will get depends on the number of years he/she earned the retirement pension while being in a marriage with you.

For example, if the spouse worked for 15 years to earn the retirement benefits, and for all those 15 years they were married to you, you are likely entitled to one-half thereof.

Q. I own a property bought before my marriage, what is the status of that property at the time I get divorced?

Properties that are bought and owned by one or the other spouse before they enter wedlock are usually regarded as separate properties. However, it is important to note that your property will be regarded as a separate property only if no community funds were used to purchase it or any rights given over it to the spouse, such as by adding the other spouse to the title to the property. Separate properties are not counted as the divisible assets in a divorce and they will stay yours irrespective of the divorce results.  However, the other spouse might still have an interest in the property if the principal on the mortgage loan was paid down during the marriage.  These issues can be complex and it is advised that you speak with a qualified divorce attorney to understand your situation and your rights.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”