Sarah felt it was time to end her marriage to Albert. They’d been together seven years. After the honeymoon, their relationship shifted, work tugged them apart, and they rarely spent time together any more. However, Sarah wondered if she needed grounds for divorce in California? She couldn’t just ‘dissolve’ their marriage without some big problem like infidelity or domestic violence, right? Let’s address this question and others you may have about no-fault divorce.
Should I have a reason for filing for divorce?
The fact that you want to dissolve your marriage is a reason. It’s not necessary to make allegations of adultery, abuse, or abandonment. Instead, you simply file the papers to dissolve your marital bonds citing something like irreconcilable differences or irreparable breakdown of the marriage.
California was actually the first state to pass a no-fault divorce law in 1969. All other states now allow no-fault divorce.
What does “irreconcilable differences” mean?
Well, it’s not just a 1984 movie starring Ryan O’Neal and Drew Barrymore. You’ve probably heard the term mentioned in the news, though.
A strict legal definition of irreconcilable differences means that the two parties face obstacles to continuing their marriage. Basically, their situation has become too bad to fix.
Before no-fault divorce, the party filing for dissolution had to prove to the court that the marriage should be terminated.
Is a no-fault divorce easier to get?
Divorces take at least six months to finalize. However, the length of time it takes to resolve all issues varies greatly depending on those issues. For example, a marriage with children or extensive financial holdings may take longer than a less complex situation.
Generally, though, a no-fault divorce is less complicated than a ‘fault’ divorce. It’s not necessary to gather evidence to present to the judge who would then decide whether or not your marriage could end.
You Don’t Have to Do This Alone
It’s not necessary to prove wrongdoing to get a divorce in California. However, a spouse’s bad behavior or misconduct may affect property division, child support, child custody, and spousal support. Talk to an experienced California divorce attorney to learn more about your options.
Ms. Burger is a California Certified Family Law Specialist and founder of the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. We assist clients in California’s Northern to Central Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Gold River, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys.