It’s never easy to end a marriage. No couple enters a marriage in search of a divorce, but there is sometimes no other option forward.
When the time comes to separate, it’s best to have an experienced family law attorney on your side who will fight for a fair and fair divorce. If you live in the State of California you can file for a divorce from your spouse if you believe the marriage needs to end. Your spouse does not need to agree to the divorce for you to file divorce papers. There are a number of steps which must occur before a divorce is finalized.
A divorce can be divided into two categories; Fault Divorce and No Fault Divorce. The comparison between a fault and a no fault divorce is the grounds for the divorce. In the first case, the spouse filing the divorce claims that the other spouse is responsible for ruining the marriage, while there is no blame on either party in the other case. The laws of the state vary considerably. Some states have only fault grounds. It is always recommended to consult an attorney to navigate state-specific laws.
Divorce laws in the state of California
In California, all divorces are “No Fault” divorces, meaning the spouse asking for a divorce does not have to prove the other spouse did something wrong. California adopted no-fault divorce with the Family Law Act of 1969, which became effective January 1, 1970. The Act abolished California’s action for divorce and replaced it with a proceeding for dissolution of marriage on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. Generally, the spouse who files for divorce does so because of something called “irreconcilable differences”. This means the two spouses just couldn’t get along. It does not matter if one spouse had an affair in a no fault divorce. California law does not punish the party who has an affair with less property or more pay support because of an affair.
There are three main ways to end California’s marriage or registered domestic partnership: divorce, legal separation, and annulments. Both spouses and domestic partners do not need to agree to terminate the marriage. Either spouse or partner can decide to end the marriage, and the other spouse/partner, even if he or she does not want to get a divorce, cannot stop the process by refusing to participate in the case. If a spouse or domestic partner does not participate in the divorce case, the other spouse/partner will still be able to get a “default” judgment and the divorce will go through.
No Fault Divorce
A no-fault divorce relates to a form of divorce where no fault on the portion of the other partner must be proved by the partner who is applying for divorce. The reasons for irreconcilable differences are recognized as real and can be based on one of the marriage sides ‘ assertions. A partner cannot object to another’s petition for no-fault divorce, as that objection itself can be viewed by the court as an irreconcilable difference. All states recognize no-fault divorces, but some states require that the spouses live separately for a designated period of time before either of them can file for a divorce.
Possible grounds for no fault divorce include:
- Living separate for a specific period of time
- Irreconcilable differences
- Irremediable breakdown of marriage
- The marriage is irretrievably broken