Divorce is a difficult emotional process even when both parties agree that it is in their best interest to separate. It can be made more difficult when one or both spouses have misconceptions about how the process works.  Here are some of the most common misconceptions that people frequently have about divorce in California.

  1. Going to court will get them “justice.” Justice means different things to different people. What one person thinks is fair will seem unfair to the other person. Some people think that if they can just get to court, the judge will rule in their favor and make everything all right which is not always the case. Divorces can be very complicated and there are many things to consider. The court, given the limited amount of time that the judge had to review your matter, will try to look at all relevant factors in coming to a decision.  The judge’s decision could go in either direction.
  2. It will only take six months for the divorce to be final. Six months is the minimum amount of time the law allows for a couple to try and see if the marriage can be saved. The six-month time period does not start when the divorce petition is filed, but when the other spouse is properly served with the petition. Service on the other party is what brings that person within the jurisdiction of the court.  The time it actually takes for the divorce to be final depends on the issues in the case {e.g., custody, support and financial) and whether or not the parties are contentious.  The more contention there is, the longer it takes to finalize the divorce. If both parties remain amicable and do everything they need to do, it is possible to have the divorce completed in six months.
  3. One party’s infidelity will affect the property settlement and support. California is a no-default divorce state and there are only two grounds for divorce: irreconcilable differences and permanent legal incapacity to make decisions.  Most people fall under irreconcilable differences.   In basic terms that means the parties are ready to separate.  Infidelity is irrelevant in California courts.
  4. The mother always gets custody of the children. California encourages both parents to be actively involved in the children’s lives and prefers joint custody when possible. When making a custody decision, the parent who has been the primary caregiver, whether it has been the mother or the father, will be a major factor in the custody decision which the court decides based on the best interest of the children.

For answers to all of your divorce questions and to dispel other misconceptions you may have about divorce, contact me today at Kim Mediation and Law Center to make a consultation appointment.