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Understanding California's No-Fault Divorce Law

Last updated 5 years ago

For many centuries, one spouse had to be able to show that the other spouse had done something wrong before they were allowed to dissolve the marriage. California does not take this view. Instead, state law allows either of the partners to file for disillusion even if neither spouse has done anything ‘wrong.’ This helps many individuals leave bad marriages and start all over. Here is an explanation of California’s no-fault divorce laws:

California law requires a reason for marriage disillusion. The no-fault reason is legally known as irreconcilable differences. This term shows the judge that you and your spouse cannot make the marriage work. The vague nature of this legal concept means that you can cite this reason even if one spouse is at fault for the end of the marriage. Acts such as infidelity will neither help nor hurt your actual petition for dissolution, as a judge is required to grant you a divorce based on irreconcilable differences alone.

The no-fault divorce law means that only one spouse needs to initiative the divorce filings. You do not need your partner’s consent to begin the disillusion paperwork with your attorney. Similarly, you do not need to formally give your spouse or the judge a reason for wanting to end the marriage. This helps protect one spouse from trying to argue his or her case in front of the spouse. If you want a divorce, California law ensures that you can get one, even if your spouse does not want to end the marriage.

Moreno Family Law is a Northern California law firm whose attorneys know the ins and outs of our state’s divorce, separation, child custody, and alimony regulations. If you are thinking about ending your marriage, we can make sure that the matter is handled efficiently. Call (408) 266-9011 to reach our San Jose office and schedule a free case evaluation today.


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