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March 30, 2020 - Business News > Legal
Annulment, Legal Separation and Divorce in California

In California, a couple married without discussing the ground for divorce can ask for a permanent order ending their marriage.
As practiced in other states across the nation, couples in uncontested marriages established in out-of-state may be able to avoid the traditional process of a traditional trial, as it is possible for them to avoid significcant legal costs and will simplify their divorce proceedings.
In California, a couple can initiate a legal separationn (a term coined by the late Justice David Cardozo in 1977) at any time before the filing of a petition for legal separation or shortly thereafter, and there is no waiting ped=riod. The couple must file their petition within 21 days after the petition is filed and serve it on the other spouse. The purpose of this waiting period is to allow the other spouse to respond to the petition and furthher discuss the terms of their divorce.
A San Diego Superior Court judge recently declined to grant a new cheap divorce online petition filed by Eric and Linda Montoya, who were married in 1999 and 2004, respectivelly. The judge felt that their marriage was not in any serious danger and there was no reason to delay the process.
In a 2004 San Diego case, the court declined to grant a divorce petition filed by Brian A. Hohimer, which had been filed in 2003. The court noted that such marriages are not inherently prohibited by California law and that they merely require a formal announcement of the motivation for the marriage and a commitment to the relationship by either spouse.
The court noted that although there are various definitions of marriage, such definitions do not necessarily have anything to do with California law. What is meant by the term “marriage bond” is that a couple legally married in another state may not be required to end their marital relationship here in California. “A statement of reasons for the dissolution of marriage may be sufficient to establish the dissolution of marriage,” explained Kevin A. Maguire, a San Diego attorney who focuses on family and matrimonial law.
California Divorce Laws and the Courts
California Divorce Law evenly distributes the financial burden of matrimony in California, with the goal of equally distributing it among both spouses. As such, the law expects to be met with some resistance, depending on the specific definitions of marriage and jurisdiction, in calling for greater or lesser amounts of spousal support, assuming the couple meets the statutory threshold.
To determine the amount of spousal support, the court will consider the individual's earnings, the duration of marriage, and the amount of time since the couple separated. “Determining the amount of spousal support based on individual earnings alone will not be part of the court's consideration,” stated Maguire. “Courts throughout the country will base their determinations of spousal support on the individual's earnings alone.”
Earnings Versus Spousal Support
To determine the amount of spousal support, the court will consider the individual's earnings against the statutory threshold, which is $32,750. “Courts throughout the country will base their spousal support on the individual's earnings even though the court has not determined a specific amount,” Maguire explained. “Therefore, the question becomes whether the income amounts proposed by the petitioner are more or less than the statutory thresholds.”
Earnings Versus Spousal Support
To determine the answer to this question, we turn first to the earnings of the couple as reported by the Internal Revenue Service, which was recently updated to show that the increase in the wages of individuals in the federal government has been accompanied by a decrease in their standard of living.
The earnings of married couples increased 3.2 percent from 2009 to 2010, overtaking the increases for married couples who were not married. The decrease was sharper for men. The earnings of men increased by 3.4 percent while the increase for women increased by only 1.9 percent.
While the earnings of married couples have increased, the divorce rate for these couples has remained flat for four years in a row. This pattern has become more common as divorce rates among newlywed couples has increased.
Why Recent Divorce Rates are High
According to Bloomberg.com, “As many as one in four people who divorced in the last 12 months are unmarried, and nearly two-thirds of those, $81, went unmarried within the past year. That makes it more challenging for a newlywed couple to find intimacy amid the post-divorce turmoil.”
The Bloomberg and Pew Research surveys also found that unmarried men and women are doing their best to hide their earnings from their partners – even when they remarry.
The married men and women surveyed in the Bloomberg and Pew surveys said their spouses had little or no intention of addressing financial issues related to their divorce.


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