Divorcing from your husband or wife is no doubt a very painful and emotional decision. You likely went into your marriage intending to be with your partner until ‘death do you part,’ so accepting that is not going to be the case this time can be a long process. With all the untruths and myths surrounding divorce in California, we thought we would set you straight about a few of the biggest ones.
Myth 1: You can’t get divorced in California unless your spouse agrees to it.
While some religions might require you and your spouse to agree upon your divorce or legal separation, the law in California does not. A divorce is a lawsuit, and you do not need the other person’s permission before you sue them. Under California law, either spouse can seek a divorce with or without the consent or agreement of the other. There may be disagreements regarding the terms of the divorce and if you and your soon-to-be ex cannot agree to terms, the court ends up makes the decision for them. This is one reason is it a good idea to hire an experienced divorce lawyer, so that you can make the decisions and not rely on the court.
Myth 2: It’s my fault because I cheated.
Once upon a time in California, there used to be a ‘fault’ divorce where a couple could only get a divorce because there spouse was cheating, or did something else ‘wrong.’ Today, while many sooon-to-be exes blame each other during the divorce process, California law does not require it. Couples are allowed to divorce without placing blame on one another. With this “no fault” divorce system in place, any married person can ask a California court for a divorce without having to prove, or even allege, that their spouse did something to cause the divorce. Be forewarned: California courts may still consider fault grounds when deciding issues as they relate to your children.
Myth 3: You can’t get a divorce in California until you get a separation.
In California, you do not need to be physically or legally separated before you can get a divorce. For more information on legal separations and divorce, contact a knowledgeable CA divorce lawyer.
Myth 4: I’m a man, so I won’t get custody of my child.
While California courts used to give child custody preferences to mothers, this is no longer the case. The modern approach taken by the courts is to ensure the best interests of the children. This means that courts usually prefer if parents come to their own agreement and child custody arrangements and give parents broad discretion in deciding what is best for their children. However, the courts can impose any custody order as long as it is in the child’s best interests, even if the parents do not ask for it or agree to it.
It’s important that you discuss your divorce options, including child custody issues, with an experienced California divorce lawyer. The experienced lawyers at Foresight Legal Group will act as your advocates and do their best to make sure that you are protected during this emotional time.
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