Divorce in California

In California, a divorce is referred to as a “dissolution of marriage” in legal proceedings. The legal process is available to all validly married individuals that are domiciled within the state; that is the state in which they intend to permanently reside. The process begins when a party files a petition for dissolution in family court. California is a no-fault divorce state. Either party can obtain a divorce, based on irreconcilable differences, even if the other party objects.

Community Property State

California is a community property state. All assets acquired during the marriage are presumptively community property. Assets acquired prior to marriage, inheritances and gifts are separate property.  Retirements and Pensions may be partially or entirely community property. Debt acquired by either spouse before or during the marriage are assigned to the community, with certain exceptions.

As you can see, the equitable division of community property can be a complicated matter that requires the knowledge and skill of an experienced family law divorce attorney. Ensure that your rights are protected, call Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin and speak with a divorce attorney.

Spousal Support

Spousal support is what most people refer to as alimony. Spousal support obligations can arise in many different situations. The factors for considering if a spouse is entitled to support depend on circumstances surrounding the marriage. The duration of the marriage can have a significant effect on how long a spousal support order can last. To ensure that you get what you are entitled to or pay only what you must, it is imperative that you retain a family law attorney that will zealously advocate on your behalf.

Marital Settlement Agreements

It is possible to come to an agreement on most issues surrounding a divorce in California. The parties to a divorce can stipulate to an agreement and avoid a trial. If you do decide that you want to agree to the terms of a divorce with the other party, you need to know that the agreement is fair and just and your rights are clearly asserted. The well-versed family law divorce attorneys at Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin will ensure that a marital settlement agreement is drafted with your interests in mind.

Child Custody and Support

Child custody and support issues often come up in divorce proceedings. Child custody issues can be settled and agreed upon between the parties. The parties can stipulate to an agreed upon timeshare plan. Child support is an issue that is not often agreed upon. Child support is often set by the court using a state guideline calculation system. Our attorneys have extensive experience resolving child custody and support disputes.

Our Firm’s Divorce Practice

Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin‘s family law attorneys have knowledgeable and practical experience in family law matters including divorce. Whether you are in need of a simple divorce or in need of a divorce that involves diversified assets and children, our divorce attorneys have the knowledge and skill to protect and preserve your rights throughout the process.


We are the firm to call when you need sound legal advice from a knowledgeable divorce attorney. To talk to a family law attorney about your specific family law matter, call Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin’s divorce lawyers at (209) 522-2211 or contact us here.