Do I need to prove that my spouse is at fault to get divorced?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2024 | Divorce

No. California is considered a “no fault” state which means the courts are not concerned with who is to blame for the break-up of your marriage. In fact, specific acts of misconduct are not needed to get a divorce or legal separation from your spouse. In California, the grounds for getting a divorce from your spouse are irreconcilable differences or permanent legal incapacity to make decisions. As you might expect, irreconcilable differences is the more common of the two.

So what does “Irreconcilable Differences” mean and how do I tell if they exist? Irreconcilable differences are “those grounds which are determined by the court to be substantial reasons for not continuing the marriage and which make it appear that the marriage should be dissolved.” However, generally, all that is required to get a divorce is an allegation by one spouse that irreconcilable differences have arisen which have lead to the irremediable breakdown of your marriage. Your spouse’s consent is not required even if he/she does not want to get divorced.

Asking the court to dissolve your marriage on the grounds of permanent legal incapacity requires more than just an allegation. In order to end your marriage on the grounds of permanent legal incapacity you must produce competent medical and/or psychiatric testimony to show that when you filed your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, your spouse permanently lacked the legal capacity to make decisions.

Whether you or your spouse are seeking a divorce based on “irreconcilable differences” or “permanent legal incapacity” the court will also require that all jurisdictional requirements have been satisfied before the court issues a Judgment terminating your marital status.

To make sure that all requirements have been satisfied and the initial pleadings that you file with the court do not need to be amended, or become something that you will regret, call the Law Office of Robert G. Goldsmith at (949) 769-7052 for further assistance.