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Thank you for your question.
1. Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, there's no such thing as a common law divorce. Living apart, by itself, will not result in divorce.
2. Yes. It's possible to get divorced without another person's consent. However, that constitutes a contested divorce and can be time consuming and expensive. That said, one spouse cannot keep another spouse married if the other spouse doesn't wish to be and a court can enter a divorce decree even when one spouse doesn't wish to get divorced. It's better and cheaper when both parties can settle and agree to matters in good faith.
3. Yes. Anyone can represent himself in any legal proceeding. However, cheaper isn't always better. There's a lot at stake in a divorce and having legal representation is prudent. However, the California self-help center is located at the following link for people who represent themselves.
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