Divorce/Family FAQ

What are the grounds for divorce under San Francisco family law?

California is a no-fault divorce state, which means grounds for divorce are based either on irreconcilable differences or incurable insanity.

How is legal separation different from divorce?

In a legal separation, the couple remains married; however, they live separately and may settle or have the court rule on terms for child custody, child support, visitation, property division, and in certain cases, spousal support. Legally separated couples may not marry another person until divorced.

How does a domestic partnership differ from marriage?

Same sex couples or certain couples where one partner is over the age of 62 may register a domestic partnership in California. Domestic partnerships also differ in that:

What rights do I have under a domestic partnership?

In California, aside from the differences listed in response to the question above, you enjoy the same rights as married couples – hospital visitation rights, rights to heirship, parental rights for children, etc.

Are there residency requirements in California for divorce or legal separation?

No residency requirements exist for legal separation under California matrimonial law. For divorce, one of the spouses must have lived in California for six months and must have lived in the county where filing divorce for three months.

How long does it take to get divorced in California?

Once the initial papers are filed and served on the other party, there is a six month waiting period before the divorce can be granted.

Can my spouse be granted a divorce by the California divorce court if I do not consent?

Yes. If the judge determines that grounds for divorce meet the California grounds of irreconcilable differences or incurable insanity, the judge would grant divorce.

Can the same attorney represent my spouse and me?

No. The same attorney cannot represent both spouses in a Californiadivorce for reasons of conflict of interests.