What Are the Residency Requirements for a Beverly Hills, CA Divorce?
You do not need to be married in California to obtain a divorce from a court in the state. However, there are residency requirements for a Beverly Hills, CA, divorce that you must meet before you file a petition.
How Long Must I Live in California To File for a Beverly Hills Divorce?
California law refers to divorce as a dissolution of marriage. Both terms refer to the same thing – the legal process of ending a marriage. California Family Code §2320 requires one of the parties to be a resident of California for at least six months before filing for divorce.
Additionally, a spouse must have lived in the county where the divorce petition is filed at least three months before the petition is filed with the court. If you have not been a resident of your current county for three months, you do not need to wait to file for divorce. You can file the divorce petition in the county where you last resided for a minimum of three months.
The above residency requirements apply to most divorces in Beverly Hills, CA. However, some exceptions could apply to your situation.
Residency Requirements for Domestic Partners and Same-Sex Couples in Beverly Hills, CA
Domestic partners are not required to meet residency requirements for a divorce in California if their domestic partnership is registered in the state.
Otherwise, they must meet the same residency requirements that married couples must meet to obtain a divorce. However, California courts might not have jurisdiction over all matters if the domestic partners do not meet residency requirements.
Same-sex couples can also petition a California court for a same-sex divorce without meeting the residency requirements if:
- They were married in California; AND,
- They live in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage or LGBT divorce.
However, a California court might not have jurisdiction in matters related to child custody, child support, spousal support, or property division if the couple lives in another state and only seeks a same-sex divorce in California.
Before proceeding with a divorce in California as domestic partners or same-sex couples, talk with a Beverly Hills divorce lawyer about issues that could arise while seeking a dissolution of marriage.
What Happens if You Don’t Meet the Residency Requirements for Divorce in Beverly Hills, CA?
If you do not meet the residency requirements but want or need to separate and settle issues immediately, you might want to consider a legal separation. You can seek a legal separation any time after moving to California.
The drawback of a legal separation is you remain legally married to your spouse. However, all other issues related to a divorce can be settled through legal separation, including child support, alimony, property division, and child custody. Once you meet the residency requirements, you can petition for a divorce, adopting the terms ordered in the legal separation.
Couples seek a legal separation for many reasons, including:
- They do not meet the residency requirements for a divorce in California
- Parents want to remain married for their children but live separately and apart
- Religious and moral beliefs regarding divorce
- Financial reasons, such as remaining on health insurance policies, filing joint tax returns, inheritance rights, and retirement interests
A Beverly Hills legal separation lawyer can provide additional advice about the pros and cons of a legal separation versus a divorce in California. If this option is right for you, an attorney can help you negotiate a fair legal separation agreement.
What Is the Divorce Process in Beverly Hills, CA?
California offers a no-fault divorce for irreconcilable differences. You do not need to prove that your spouse’s conduct was the fault for your divorce. Either spouse can claim irreconcilable differences to obtain a divorce, even if the other spouse does not want to do so.
The process to dissolve a marriage begins with filing a summons and petition for dissolution with the court. The petition includes facts such as the date and duration of the marriage and proof of residency.
The petition also includes the grounds for divorce and a request for relief. The relief is your request for child support, custody, property division, alimony, and other relief the court may grant.
You must serve the summons and petition on your spouse. Your spouse has a specific deadline for responding to the divorce papers. If they don’t respond, you can request a default divorce decree. When a spouse responds, the parties can negotiate a divorce settlement or proceed with litigation.
Hiring an experienced Beverly Hills divorce lawyer to handle your case gives you numerous advantages. You have a trusted source for legal advice and support. Your attorney understands the California divorce process. When considering divorce, meeting with a California divorce attorney is wise to discuss your legal rights and options.
Contact a Beverly Hills Divorce Law Lawyer Today
If you’re going through a divorce, you need a strong team on your side fighting for your rights. Call Berenji & Associates today to know how we can assist you.