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Divorce 101: The Basics


Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage in the eyes of the law. It can be a heartbreaking time in a person’s life that can be difficult to navigate due to its legal nature. In this article, we will help you gain a better understanding of how divorce – both traditional and online divorce – works in the state of California.

Three Ways to End a Marriage in California

There are three ways to end a marriage in California:

  • Divorce
  • Legal separation, and
  • Annulment

The above are legal processes to dissolve a marital union. However, we will only focus on the ins and outs of divorce for simplification.

Divorce in California

When you have decided that you are ready to begin the divorce procedure, it is best to do your research and make a plan. It’s Over Easy will provide you with useful information so that you can feel confident moving forward through this process, specifically in obtaining an online divorce. It may be a good idea to meet with a lawyer, as they will be your personal guide through this journey.

Next, once you are ready to proceed, one of the spouses will file for divorce and will be known as the petitioner. This person will not have any legal advantage or disadvantage in the court. Then the paperwork will be served to the other spouse, or the respondent.

It is not necessary for both parties to agree to a divorce. For instance, if one party begins to legally separate then the other cannot stop the process. If the respondent chooses not to participate then the petitioner will get a "default" judgment, and the divorce will proceed.

California is a "no-fault" state, meaning that neither party must be at fault for the divorce. In the past, one of the parties had to be declared as the reason for the dissolution of the marriage. As you can imagine, this led to drawn-out and nasty divorces. Most couples, today, file under "irreconcilable differences" meaning that your differences make it impossible to stay married.