It’s no secret that divorce is not a fun process. However, sometimes it’s the best course of action. If one or both parties are miserable and marriage isn’t working, it can be a relief to file for divorce and move on with your life.

There are lots of personal reasons for divorce in California ranging from extramarital affairs, lack of intimacy, and emotional abuse. But because of the way the state’s divorce laws work, there is one primary reason that is most often printed on the paperwork. Read on to find out more about reasons for divorce in California–and how you might be able to avoid a convoluted divorce process completely.

“I was overwhelmed with my divorce,custody and child support paperwork Sandy at People’s Choice made everything so much easier and really put my mind at ease. I couldn’t be happier with their assistance and it really made all the process speed up for me. Thank you so much for all your help.”

Samantha R.

“I had the opportunity to use A People’s Choice again, Wow doesn’t say enough for the way the staff was able to get me in and out and all my answers answered. Very Professional, Organized and Friendly. I highly recommend!”

Debbie E.

“I just recently moved to the Ventura area and didn’t know of any companies to help me with my legal paperwork. I am glad I chose A People’s Choice. They were very friendly and helped me with my documents in a very efficient way in very little time. Give them a try and you will be writing a positive review just as I did.”

D. Buelna

“A People’s Choice prepares legal documents so you can represent yourself and still look like you know what you’re doing. I used their services recently and found them to be professional as well as extremely helpful. I couldn’t be happier.”

Evan J.

“I highly recommend A People’s Choice.The customer service and professionalism is exceptional. My documents were delivered to me quickly and accurately. I didn’t contact them until late on Thursday afternoon and had everything in hand to be at the County Government Center by 8:00 am on Friday morning. Compared to using an attorney for complete paperwork, this service is only a fraction of the cost, more responsive, and better suited to quickly completing complicated court forms. “

Linda F.

“A People’s Choice is extremely customer orientated and friendly.  Their service was fast and reliable. in the future, should I need their services again, I will not hesitate to call them. All e-mails were answered with either a phone call or e-mail sometimes even late at night

Tar

“This team is efficient, professional, ethical and easy to work with. Any of my questions were responded to immediately. They did everything they could to help me. I highly recommend their services.”

Leigh A.

“A People’s Choice helped me to complete Child Custody modification paperwork. After looking online and trying to figure out how to do it myself, I decided to search Yelp for help. No disappointment here. The service was easy and painless. It might have been nice to have a discussion by phone, but it was still quite easy and quick via email. Overall, the process was simple and I would use A People’s Choice again. I am pleased.”

Michael J.

“Can not remember how I found A People’s Choice. I think it was through a web search. In any case I found the company and have been and am completely satisfied with the service provided. The person I worked with (Sandra) was very friendly whenever we spoke on the phone and always responded promptly to any emails. The answers were always clear. The entire process was smooth and painless. I would recommend A People’s Choice without hesitation.”

Les A.

“I was very happy with the service received. They were extremely responsive by phone and email and completed the document in less than 24 hours! All questions were answered promptly. I would highly recommend this service to anyone needing a legal document prepared!”

M.D.

“How much is peace of mind worth to you? This company of hardworking, caring individuals will help you get the job done in the quickest, most efficient way. Conveniently located. Check it out. Thank you!”

Diana K.

“I was in need of some serious help and didn’t know what to do. I had contacted a lawyer and he wanted to charge me $1800.00. Then I found A People’s Choice. They were great. They got my paperwork started and at a much lower cost, and steered me, with the help of lots of paper work, in the right direction. I am very grateful for the company’s services and would recommend them to anyone that may need the services they offer. Thank you again.”

April R.

“Divorce is usually never pleasant but A People’s Choice made it much easier than it would have been if we tried to do the divorce paperwork on our own. They were very quick to respond to us and always took the time to answer all of our questions thoroughly, in addition to quickly. I would highly recommend them for handling divorce paperwork.”

Susan Z.

“A People’s Choice is a business that delivers what they promise. I was treated like a VIP by their staff and Sandy was the best. As for their services, they promptly delivered all the official documents and fillings on my behalf and their price is more than reasonable. In short, this is a business that I will always recommend and continue to use. Thank you!”

Juan B.

“I used A People’s Choice for filing divorce paperwork for an uncontested divorce. The price was very affordable and fair. Excellent service throughout. Not being able to call and talk on the phone worried me at first but they responded to every email extremely quickly. There directions were very easy to understand and they had no problem explaining something multiple times if I had questions or did not fully understand the directions. Will definitely use them again for any other legal documents I might need help with in the future.”

Frank M.

Extremely satisfied with the performance of A People’s Choice. The communication was excellent and all was handled in a timely efficient manner.

Pam T.

“A People’s Choice is awesome! They made the legal documentation process painless. I highly recommend A People’s Choice. The name says it all.”

Eric J.

“I recently required the help of A People’s Choice, Inc. and found them to be entirely professional. Everything was done in short order yet all was explained to my satisfaction. They were friendly and courteous. I am happy and impressed.”

C. Zyobel

“I needed help understanding and filling out legal documents but I didn’t have enough money to pay for an attorney. I searched the internet for a short period of time looking for help and when I found A People’s Choice, I was relieved to know that I would get the exact service that I needed at an affordable price. The staff was very professional and helpful with my legal documents. They worked around my schedule and responded to my emails on a timely manner. They took care of all the paper work and filing and kept me posted. I would highly recommend A People’s Choice for your legal documents as you will get outstanding service at an affordable price. “

Sharon B.

“Thank you A People’s Choice for saving me all the headaches when I thought I could save money and file my own divorce paperwork. The court clerks offer no assistance whatsoever with simple questions and handed me another packet to figure out on my own. Trust me, the best advice I can give you is to call A People’s Choice first. They typed up my paperwork and my divorce was final in two weeks! I am so grateful to them and I would highly recommend them to everyone.”

L. Bayer

“I’m so glad I found this company to handle my divorce. They were very professional and detail oriented and answered all of my (many) questions, keeping me informed along the way. They handled everything for me from hundreds of miles away and made it pretty seamless. The pricing was in the exact range we were looking for. Very honest company and great to work with. Highly recommend them to anyone!”

Jessica J.

“We love A People Choice. It’s legally run and professional. Everyone has to have a recommendation and license. Highly recommended.”

Christy C.

“When I first saw all the documents required to file I was overwhelmed at the thought of it all. I was already dealing with the stress of everything else and did not want to deal with the courts, a mountain load of paperwork and trips to file as well. When I looked around, I saw A People’s Choice had some great reviews and a decent price. I am VERY happy that I went with A People’s Choice. They were very, very helpful, Sandy was very nice and patient with me, despite all of my questions. With her assistance she helped to make this difficult time much easier by making the tedious paperwork process very easy and it didn’t take too much time at all! I definitely recommend A People’s Choice.”

M.McCleod

I have worked with A People’s Choice since September 2013.  They are very knowledgeable and experienced.  Their work is done professionally and timely.  They show a real concern for my situation.  I recommend you give them the opportunity to be of service to you.”

D. Echeverra

“Super prices, great service, I can’t say enough about this place. We had A People’s Choice help us with a trust and POA. They are the best!”

Jessica S.

“A People’s Choice helped me with my QDRO. They were very professional and very honest. They saved me a lot of money by having them do all the paperwork. There was no hidden fees. I would recommend A People’s Choice for any of your needs. They are very knowledgeable in what they do. Thank you A People’s Choice for all your help!”

Debra H.

The service provided by A People’s Choice was very professional and comprehensive. We have used A People’s Choice on a previous occasion and were completely satisfied. We would highly recommend A People’s Choice to anyone!

R. Betancourt

Made the process so easy for me. Also VERY prompt replies through email. So glad I used their services.

Kristina C.

“A People’s Choice – Saved me time, money & hardship. The people are professional and a pleasure to work with, I totally recommend them to everyone! I will used them for all my legal documents in the future. Thank you!”

C. Lazalde

“This company is excellent! They helped me get through all of my paperwork, submitted it to the court, and now everything is complete. Everything was clear and almost too easy. I saved thousands of dollars!”

Seth M.

“Great service. Highly professional and efficient creating legal documents. I am completely satisfied and highly recommend them to others. I am so glad I found you on the internet. People who are looking for professional legal services look no further, try A People’s Choice.”

Radtech N.

“Very professional, excellent follow up and easy to work with. I will recommend them often! The staff rocks!”

Gene A.

“A People’s Choice is a great option to get legal documents prepared inexpensively. They offer a very professional, low-cost service for all sorts of legal paperwork, from living trusts to divorce, bankruptcy and everything in between. I always received a prompt reply to my inquiries and found the legal guide they gave me extremely helpful and informative. If you know what you want to do, don’t need legal advice and just need help preparing legal paperwork, I strongly recommend calling this company. You won’t be disappointed and will save lots of money as compared to using an expensive attorney!”

Kathryn R.

“I want to personally thank the staff at A People’s Choice for making my divorce process so simple and painless . From my 1st contact in the office they were was warm and friendly and took the time to explain each step in a very simple and quick manner .Filing for a divorce can be a difficult and painful process and the staff was extremely professional and clear in all guidance and explanations. I highly recommend A People’s Choice.”

C. Hannon

“Lightning fast response, I had my very simple document on the same day as my order for the very fair and reasonable price of $325 (including the rush fee!) compared to my attorney who quoted me 3 weeks and $2500. I will definitely use these folks again and highly recommend them!”

L. Carnes

“I can’t say enough about the level of service and professionalism I received working with A People’s Choice. Emails were always responded to quickly and thoughtfully. They really care about the process and helping you get the best result with no up-selling. Of course they can’t provide legal advice, but I was referred to an attorney when I needed some questions answered who was very reasonable and easy to get a hold of as well. The process played out according to plan and I ended up saving a lot of money by going with A People’s Choice over an attorney.”

M. Rice

“Great way to get your divorce processed without attorneys for approx. $495. There were a few small hiccups with the documents, but nothing major, which I caught when I reviewed. I am happy with their service, efficient and organized, and would recommend them for filing a divorce that is mutually settled and skip the attorneys. Note: They are not process servers, so find your own server, or if you can do it yourself and save the $$. Thanks for a job well done!”

Bud P.

“I would just like to comment on what a great job A People’s Choice did with my divorce. I have just received the final judgement and could not be happier. They told me up front what the cost would be. They also let me know how they keep the cost down by communicating through email. I also appreciated how when I had a question they got back with me in the day or in the evening. Thank You for you quick responses. A People’s Choice is a good deal for the consumer.”

R. Leyva

California: A No-Fault Divorce State

Divorce is, of course, a legal process that spouses go through to end a marriage. Once the divorce is approved by the court, each spouse is free to marry again. The divorce rates in California have been on a constant rise in recent times.

For California residents interested in getting a divorce, it’s important to know that in California, a divorce doesn’t technically need to be anyone’s fault (such as domestic abuse). A few states in the U.S. need the spouse filing for divorce to prove that the other is somehow at fault for the end of the marriage (fault-based divorce). Valid reasoning for a petition for divorce in states like this is varied. They include adultery, desertion, domestic violence, imprisonment, impotence, physical abuse, alcohol, and drug abuse.

In the Sunshine State, none of that is necessary. Since California is a “no-fault” state, the spouse filing the divorce will not need to accuse the other of any fault to end the marriage in real life. The reasoning of the spouses not getting along anymore, or the fact that they do not want to be married any longer, is sufficient enough to qualify for a divorce. That reasoning, put in legal terms, is very limited, as you’ll read about in the next section.

Top Reasons for Divorce in California

The only valid grounds for divorce in California are irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity. Here’s the breakdown of what each of these terms means.

Irreconcilable differences: This is by far the most popular reason for divorce in California. It stems from issues occurring in the marriage that cause the couple to drift apart the guidance of a marriage counselor. We’ll discuss some of the reasons for irreconcilable differences in a moment. In any case, the marriage breaks down, and the couple does not get along enough to keep it going any further.

Incurable insanity: This means that a spouse was legally insane during the time the divorce petition was filed (probably due to substance abuse) and continues to remain in this incurable state. This is a difficult classification to qualify for; it must be verified by medical and psychiatric professionals.

Generally, it is not required for both spouses to mutually agree to a divorce. One spouse can start the process and continue with it even if the other wishes not to participate. The court will still authorize the divorce by default.

What Qualifies as Irreconcilable Differences?

This term, sometimes used interchangeably with the term “irremediable breakdown,” is a broad term. It means the marriage is unable to be fixed (due to poor communication), or the married couple is not willing to try and fix it. Being in an abusive relationship could be one of the factors towards an irretrievable breakdown.

Here are some of the most common legal reasons for a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences:

  • Money disagreements: The couple may disagree on how to allocate their financial resources. This relationship issue can include what kind of housing and vehicles to buy or rent, how to manage investments and retirement, how much to spend on discretionary activities such as vacations and the like. In some cases, one spouse may have a shopping addiction, bad credit, or other detrimental financial habits that adversely affect the other spouse. This issue creates a greater risk for divorce.
  • Time management problems: The couple may struggle with coordinating work schedules, child care, home responsibilities, and personal time. One spouse may not be able to create time to invest in their partner. Lack of time for each other is a major factor in divorces.
  • Clashing parenting styles: Parents may disagree on how to raise their minor children. Issues can include education, discipline, extracurricular activities, and the like. Some couples may also not be able to agree on how many children to have (or whether to have children at all). The situation can be complicated further when children from previous marriages are involved.
  • Clashing intimacy styles: A couple may have problems in the bedroom due to incompatible sexual appetites. Sometimes in cases of divorce, there has not been any intimacy for a very long time of marriage. Bedroom issues are the major contributors to divorce. A mutual consent divorce between the partners can significantly get applied here.
  • Interference in the marriage from relatives: Relatives such as in-laws and siblings can sometimes contribute to tension in a marriage. At times, this may lead to a breakdown in communication between couples. One of the spouses may report cases of inhuman treatment from the in-laws.

One of the biggest contributors to poor marital development in most of these situations is lack of communication that can lead to difficulty in solving problems within a formerly successful marriage. Findings from interviews indicate that this lack of commitment can also prevent a couple from resolving grievances and developing positive connections; even if they attempt to salvage the situation through marriage counseling.

Residency Requirement to File a Divorce

Most states in the U.S. have a residency requirement when spouses file for divorce. This means that one or the other spouse must have resided within the state for a certain amount of time before they can file for divorce in that state and have that state’s laws apply to the divorce.

In California, the spouse or spouses must:

  • Have lived within the state for at least six months before filing for divorce;
  • Have lived within the county where they wish to file the divorce for at least three months.

If spouses do not meet these divorce residency requirements, they can first file for a legal separation as an alternative while they wait for some time to pass. Once they meet the residency length requirements, you can change the petition for legal separation and file for divorce.

The Divorce Process in California

pexels dziana hasanbekava 7063771

Filing for divorce requires completing quite a few forms irrespective of the type of divorce. These forms request a lot of crucial information that can determine the result of the divorce process and the court’s ruling concerning the ground of divorce. You can learn more about the specific process and forms on the California courts page or via our extensive collection of blog posts on the subject.

As you fill out these forms, you will be providing:

  • Basic information about you, your spouse, and the marriage
  • For property divisions, any separate property or community property that you and your spouse own before or during your married life.
  • If children are involved, information regarding child support and child custody matters.

Because accuracy is paramount and the forms can be complex, you may want to have a professional assist you with dealing with these forms. You have a few options in this regard; one of the easiest and most inexpensive methods is using a legal document assistant like A People’s Choice.

When you have completed the necessary forms, you can file these forms with the court. Be aware that you will be required to pay a filing fee during this step. This fee is $435 statewide, regardless of which county in the state the divorce is filed in.

If you are unable to pay the relevant divorce fees, you can request a fee waiver from the court. You must prove your financial need through documentation in order to qualify for this.

 

Divorce Alternatives in California

The process for divorce is not the only legal option available to spouses who wish to end their marriage. In California, there are three other possibilities: legal separation, marriage annulment, and summary dissolution of marriage. Here’s how these three processes work and when they apply.

Legal Separation

A legal separation deals with finances, child support, and custody while both spouses are permitted to live apart. A legal separation does not end the marriage; instead, some couples choose it because there is no residency requirement. Some couples also opt for a legal separation for religious or other personal reasons.

The process of acquiring a legal separation is very similar to that of filing for divorce. A spouse must file a petition and pay relevant fees to begin proceedings.

Don’t worry, married couples aren’t required to file for legal separation before pursuing a divorce. If they chose to file for divorce during their time of legal separation, however, all they need to do is change the legal separation petition and file for a divorce.

Marriage Annulment

In certain situations, a marriage may not be legally valid. An annulment is a ruling from the court that considers marriage to not be legally valid. This ruling denies the event of the marriage ever taking place, so divorce isn’t required at all.

An annulment can be requested for several reasons. Incest, bigamy, prior existing marriage, unsound mind, underage spouses, fraud, force, and physical incapacity are all grounds for one to file for a marriage annulment. Depending on the case, they may also be grounds for criminal charges.

Summary Dissolution

Summary dissolution is a faster and easier alternative to getting divorced that some couples may qualify for. They need to meet various logistic, circumstantial, and financial requirements to be able to qualify for this divorce alternative. Check out this article for more information on summary dissolution.

Will I Need an Attorney for My Divorce?

A divorce lawyer is an expert in divorce laws. Such a person can make the divorce proceedings much smoother, but it comes at a cost. Legal fees can be quite substantial, and a divorce can be quite a lengthy process.

An experienced divorce attorney stands up for your legal rights, but they can also charge large fees by the hour, for every hour you need them. When you need them to settle matters in a divorce regarding separate property, community property, and asset ownership claims, those hourly fees, usually hundreds of dollars per hour, can add up. Simply put, the longer and more complex the divorce process, the more fees you’ll need to pay.

Fortunately, there are other methods one can take to avoid this to achieve an affordable divorce. You could request a fee waiver, but that requires you to prove to the court that you are financially unable to pay any court fees. You can also consider using a more cost-effective service like a legal document service.

Affordable Assistance Is Available

A legal document assistant can help you with divorce proceedings at a fraction of the cost of a lawyer. A legal document assistant is an experienced professional that is permitted to prepare legal documents for consumers under California law. Simply put, a legal document assistant aims to aid a “self-help” client in settling their legal issues without the high costs of an attorney.

A People’s Choice may be a great option if you need help with your divorce papers, especially if you’re going through an uncontested divorce that isn’t overly complex. We offer our clients both online and personal assistance, with extended hours of operation and a substantial self-help library. Get in touch with A People’s Choice today so your divorce is over as quickly as possible and you can move forward.