There was a time not that long ago that a spouse who wanted to file for divorce would have to convince the courts that they deserved their divorce, especially if the person they married didn’t want to end their relationship. These days, people who are not happy in their marriage in California don’t have to worry about proving anything to the courts.
While there used to be a requirement for grounds in divorce filings, which typically also required proving fault, modern California divorces are no-fault, meaning there’s no placement of blame required in order to successfully end a marriage.
Only one spouse has to want the divorce
No-fault divorce means that either spouse has the legal right under California law to file for divorce at any point in the marriage. They must only claim to the courts that irreconcilable differences have impacted your marital relationship. If one spouse claims that the couple no longer functions properly, that’s the only requirement for a divorce in California.
No evidence is required to prove that claim, even in the event that their spouse denies the assertion of the breakdown of the marital union or insists that they want to remain married. Both spouses must agree to remain married, but one can decide for both to end the marriage. In fact, it is possible for people to file divorce when their spouse is either incarcerated or held in a mental health facility against their will.
Filing no-fault divorce is faster and much cheaper than proving fault
Divorce can already be a difficult, protracted process when spouses don’t agree about the best way to split their assets or how to share parental authority and parenting time. If, on top of sorting out asset division and custody arrangements, the courts also have to rule on evidence regarding the nature of the relationship or the troubles the spouses have encountered, divorce could easily take much longer and cost substantially more for the people involved.
By granting no-fault divorces, the California family courts streamline the end of a marriage and help people reduce the financial impact that divorce often has. Even in cases of divorce stemming from abuse or infidelity, no-fault filings can benefit both spouses and any children they share by keeping allegations about marital misconduct out of the courts and minimizing the court costs.