Divorce laws in California

California divorce laws are found in the California statutes in the section titled Family Code. The family code consists of 266 chapters, numerous subchapters per chapter and each subchapter contains multiple sections.

The superior court, located in each county in California, has exclusive jurisdiction to process and rule on divorce cases. In addition to the Family Code there a numerous rules of procedure that applies to how a divorce case is processed through the court and what actions and deadlines apply to the divorcing spouses. In addition, each individual court may have local rules and procedures relevant only to that court. These local rules are in addition to the standard rules of procedure that applies to all superior courts in California.

Divorce is not only an emotional progression but a very real and serious legal event. A divorce decree legally and permanently ends a marriage. The final divorce decree indicates how property and debts are to be divided and sets out child support, custody and visitation should the spouses have children together. Having knowledge of the law and your rights are imperative as the decisions and agreements you reach with your spouse have long term consequences.

In order to aid you in improving your knowledge of divorce law in California we have extracted certain sections of the California Family Code for you. We organized these sections of law into common areas wherein couples generally have the most questions. These areas include (1) California Divorce Requirements, (2) Property Division in California Divorces, (3) California Child Custody and Visitation, as well as (4) California Child Support, and (5) Spousal Maintenance - Alimony in California.

California Law Disclaimer

California divorce laws may change for several reasons, but generally due to the legislature making changes to it, or courts rendering legal decisions that affect how laws are to be interpreted and utilized. For these reasons you should not rely exclusively on anything you read on this website or any website. Please also be aware that California laws often change and the California Family Code sections listed on this website may not be the most current or relevant laws for your individual situation and circumstances.

For the reasons explained above as well as others, you should consider the laws listed on this website as general in nature and simply an introduction to California divorce law. The laws listed herein are in no way complete or representative of all the laws, regulations, procedural rules, etc that may be relevant to your divorce in California. The content on this website is intended for couples seeking a no fault (uncontested) divorce in California. Should your case be or become contested, involve complex issues, or require litigation know that the information provided on this website may not apply in such situations.

It’s always wise, and strongly encouraged by us, that you consult with a duly licensed California attorney experienced in California divorce and family law before making any legal decisions or entering into any agreements.