California Family Law

California laws are created and revised by the actions of lawmakers and the courts, as in other states. Click on the links below to learn more information.

1.State statute California Family Code
2. Fault or no-fault (typically when a state allows fault based and no-fault divorce, fault based divorces require no separation period. No-fault
3. Equitable distribution or community property Community Property
a. Methods of apportionment CA Family Code Section 4061
i. Periera and Van Camp in CA Van Camp - apportions the reasonable value of the spouse's services during marriage as community property, then treats the balance as separate property attributable to the normal earnings of the separate estate.   Periera - Apportions a "fair return" on the owning spouse's separate property investment in the business as separate property, then apportions any excess to the community property as arising from that spouse's efforts during marriage. 
b. Property distribution factors Dividing property and debts in a divorce
4. Legal separation? Yes, see Family Code Section 2330-2348
a. Waiting period/Separation period 6 months
5. Is mediation required Mediation for child custody
6. Forms used CA Divorce forms
7. Alimony guidelines and factors Family Code Section 4320
Alimony formula Local rules may have formulas but state formulas do not exist
a. Types Temporary, rehabilitative, permanent, reimbursement, lump sum
b. Term Limits Family Code Section 4320
Cohabitation Rebuttable presumption - specifically prohibits examining income/assets of payor's partner/spouse.  Except as otherwise agreed by the parties in writing, the obligation of a party under an order for the support of the other party terminates upon the remarriage of the other party.  CA FAM § 4337
c. Imputing income California family code section 4058
d. Change in circumstances May be changed if material change in circumstances
e. Ceases on retirement Judge's discretion
Impute income on early retirement "In re Marriage of Stephenson, 46 Cal. Rtpr. 2d 8, 39 Cal.
App. 4th 71 (1995) (court can impute to earlier levels where parent retires early);"
Early retirement for health reasons is involuntary
f. Definition of income Family Code Section 4058
8. Child support factors and guidelines Family code section 4033 - 4055
9. Child support calculator CA child support calculator
10. Lump Sum  Support allowed? Yes
11. Valuation
a. Valuation date Trial
b. Goodwill divisibility All goodwill is divisible - In re Marriage of Lopez, 38 CA 3d 93, 109 (1974)
c. Standard of value Fair market value / Investment Value
d. Discounts Yes
e. Shareholder/partner agreements Should be considered - In re Marriage of Micalizio, 199 Cal. App. 3d 662, 245 Cal. Rptr. 673 (1988)
 12. Double dip  No prohibition of double dip - see Blazer case
 a. Stock options  Permissable 
 b. Retirement accounts  Permissable - White [192 Cal App 3d 1022, 1028 - 1029, 237 Cal  Rptr . 764;  1987 Cal App Lexis 1833] 
 c. Child support Permissable 
 13. Key cases  [192 Cal App 3d 1022, 1028
 14. Premarital agreements  Uniform Pre-Marital Agreement Act adopted
 15. Common law  1029, 237 Cal


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