Click each question to learn more about the frequently asked questions below.

  • What rights am I entitled to in my divorce (dissolution)?

    In California, the general presumption is that all property acquired during marriage is community property and should be split equally in the event of a divorce (dissolution). Community debts, or those liabilities incurred ruing the marriage, should also be split equally.

    The concept of community property was originally created to protect homemakers who contributed significantly to the marriage, but in a non-financial manner. This means that stay-at-home spouses earn as much in the way of income, assets, and real estate as the wage-earner spouse, and are entitled to their 50% share upon divorce (dissolution).

  • Is there any difference in the law regarding same sex couples seeking a divorce?

    The grounds for divorce are “irreconcilable differences” and “incurable insanity.”

    Irreconcilable differences are sincere, permanent differences between the spouses that have lead to a breakdown in the marriage. To put it simply: it takes two to marry and only one to divorce. Only one spouse needs to sate that irreconcilable differences exist. The other spouse cannot prevent the divorce even if he or she feels the marriage can be saved. In California, divorces are “no-fault.” That is, no one spouse can be financially punished for the breakdown of the marriage.

    Incurable insanity is rarely invoked because it is difficult to prove and because the sane spouse may be obligated to support the insane spouse.

  • Is there any difference in the law regarding same sex couples seeking a divorce?

    California divorce and family law is equally applied to both heterosexual divorces and same sex divorces including the 6-month residency requirements. Please contact Sternberg Family Law for further inquiry.

  • What happens to my child custody order if my spouse or I move to a different state or country?

    The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) governs certain state courts’ abilities to make and modify child custody and visitation orders. For those states that have implemented the UCCJEA, the courts must enforce the valid custody and visitation determinations made by their sister state courts. The UCCJEA most often comes into play when a child shares time with both parents, but one parent moves to a different state or country.

    Under the UCCJEA, the court found that the child’s “home State” will make custody determinations. The child’s “home State” is generally considered to be the state where the child and parents currently reside, or where the child lived for at least six months before the custody action began. However, if the child and child’s parents no longer reside in the home state, a parent may be able to petition to have any modifications made in a new state court.

  • How will the court determine legal and physical custody of the minor child(ren)?

    Making a custody determination is one of the most difficult tasks for family law judicial officers. The court is guided to make custodial orders consistent with the “best interests” of the minor child(ren). When making a determination of the best interests of the child in a custody proceeding, the court shall consider the a) health, safety and welfare of the child, and b) any history of abuse against the child or other parent. Further, it is public policy of California to assure the minor child(ren) have frequent and continuing contact with both parents following a dissolution of marriage, and to encourage both parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing.