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Same-Sex Divorce Lawyers in California

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Same-Sex Divorce in California

Same-sex divorce in California is identical to traditional divorce. A same-sex divorce is a dissolution of marriage that ends your legal ties to your spouse. The role of the court in a California same-sex divorce is to help the spouses compromise on how to handle their marital property and debts, as well as any children, so that they may move on with their lives separately.

Reasons for Same-Sex Divorce in California

California is a no-fault divorce state. Therefore, when filing for a same-sex divorce in California, you do not need to prove that anyone is at fault for the divorce. You may simply state that you have irreconcilable differences that cannot be resolved short of divorce.

Same-Sex Divorce Eligibility Requirements in California

California judges are legally allowed to enter same-sex divorce decrees in only certain circumstances. You must meet one of the following requirements in order to be eligible to file for same-sex divorce in California:

  1. You and your spouse entered into a same-sex marriage in California AND at least one of you has lived in California for the past six months AND at least one of you has lived in the exact county in California in which you plan to file for the past three months; or
  2. You and your spouse entered into a same-sex marriage in California BUT you are not a California resident AND you live in a state that does not recognize same-sex divorces. You must file in the county in which your California same-sex marriage certificate was issued.

If you are unable to meet the six-month California or three-month county residency requirement, you can still file for legal separation and wait until you have met the residency requirement to file for same-sex divorce.

Types of Same-Sex Divorce

Although California does not require same-sex couples to prove fault in a divorce, the ability to get a no-fault divorce does not mean that both couples consent to the divorce. It also does not mean that the divorce will be clean and quick.

An uncontested same-sex divorce is a dissolution of marriage that is consented to by both parties and in which no marital property or debt needs to be divided and no child custody or support issues need to be decided by the court. The same-sex couple usually enters into a special agreement called a marital property agreement or child custody agreement to handle these issues outside of court.

However, if property division or child custody is contested, the divorce becomes a contested same-sex divorce. The couple must then litigate any issues in court, and the court will decide the outcome.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Same-Sex Divorce in California?

Same-sex divorce is extremely complex and often fraught with complications. A divorce lawyer can help you navigate the same-sex divorce process by evaluating your assets and debts, negotiating settlement agreements, and advocating for your interests in court if need be.

Photo of page author Jessica Long

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 05-11-2015 08:51 PM PDT

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