Now called Dissolution, divorce can be divided into two parts. A Divorce proceeding will
the marriage and restore the parties to single persons. and
the substantive issues below:
CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION
LEGAL CUSTODY: This is usually awarded jointly to
the parties and allows them equal input and access to the health,
education and welfare decision on their child's life.
PHYSICAL CUSTODY: Also called primary residence,
is awarded to the party who has the majority of the child share
VISITATION: Now called child sharing, it is presumed
that frequent and continuing contact with both parties is best for
BEST INTEREST TEST: The heart of this rule is stability
for the child.
CHILD SUPPORT AND SPOUSAL SUPPORT
CHILD SUPPORT: California recently enacted a uniform
Child Support Guideline System which sets the amount of Child Support
by computer programs based on a multitude of factors including:
Child Sharing Percentages
Father’s Net and Gross Income
Mother’s Net and Gross Income
Special Limited Deductions
Tax Status and Dependency Exemptions
Other Household Children
TEMPORARY SPOUSAL SUPPORT: Also known an Alimony,
permanent Spousal Support supersedes temporary Spousal Support and
attempts to rehabilitate a dependent
spouse so they become financially
self-sufficient. The Family Code identifies a number of factors which define Spousal
Support amount, while Spousal Support duration depends on the length
of the marriage.
FAMILY SUPPORT: A combination of unallocated Child
and Spousal Support.
WAGE ASSIGNMENT: All support is now directly enforceable
in California by Assignment which is similar to a wage garnishment.
PROPERTY CHARACTERIZATION AND DIVISION
In California, most property is characterized as Community or Separate.
As a Community Property State, any property acquired with the labor,
skill, energy or time of either party, while married and living together
is characterized as Community Property. Community Property can be
divided equally by the Court or equally by the parties. This property
can be either real property (land and structures) or personal property
(bank accounts, cars, businesses, securities, retirement funds, etc.).
COMMUNITY PROPERTY: All assets and debts acquired
during the terms of the marriage except by gifts or inheritance/devise
or special rules (student loans).
SEPARATE PROPERTY: Assets and debts. Brought to
the marriage, etc., unless transmutated (charged) into Community property.
PROPERTY DIVISION: Community Property is divided
equally to the extent economically feasible. Therefore, household
furniture and furnishings generally do not divide in kind.