Residency Requirements to Obtain a Divorce in California

California, as all states in the Unites States, has passed a law allowing a “no fault” divorce. This means that one spouse does not have to have accuse the other of wrong-doing in order to file for a divorce. Prior to the “no fault” law, spouses were falsely accusing each other of wrong-doing in order to end their marriages. This way, a marriage can be ended without the accusation. In California, both spouses do not have to agree on the desire to end their marriage. Legal grounds for divorce can be as simple as claiming “irreconcilable differences” or medically proving your spouse suffers from incurable insanity.

California is a “Community Property” State

You do not have to have been married in California in order to file for divorce in California. However, if you file for divorce in the state of California, you are bound to California laws.

You need to know that there are differences between the states when it comes to family law. For example, California is one of only nine states where the division of assets is based on “Community Property” as opposed to “Equitable Distribution.”

With community property, taking several details into account, such as prior ownership or any pre or post-nuptial agreements, marital property is divided equally among the two spouses. With Equitable Distribution, the assets are divided in a manner considered to be “fair and equitable”, however, this does not mean that assets are divided equally.

Please note: as California Law is based on Community Property, if you are living in or have moved from a state whose law is based on Equitable Distribution, and you have questions or concerns, you should contact a qualified Family Law attorney in that state.

What are the Residency Requirements in California?

Being aware of the California laws, you may file for a divorce in California under two conditions:

You must be a resident of the State of California for at least six (6) months

You must reside in the county in which you are filing for at least three (3) months

In California, there is also a waiting period for finalizing a divorce. You will have to wait at least six (6) months after filing before the divorce can be finalized.

Contact TDC Family Law

Once you are ready to file for divorce in California and you understand the process, call the Law Office of Tracy Duell-Cazes, also called TDC Family Law at 408-267-8484.


1530 The Alameda, Suite 108
San Jose, CA 95126

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TDC Family Law serves the entire state of California for Contempt of Court and Private Settlement Judge & Mediation

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