No matter the circumstances, divorce is a stressful situation. Navigating through the process of dividing assets and agreeing upon custodial duties if children are involved takes an emotional toll on everyone. Not to mention the paperwork and court process all require an abundance of your time – time that you most likely don’t have to spare.
If you’re currently involved in a divorce, it’s important to know there are trusted attorneys at Bratton & Razo Family Law that you can turn to for help. Once you reach out to the experts at our firm, one of the first aspects of divorce they will help you understand is that the state of California abides by a no-fault divorce law. Here’s what that means.
California’s No-Fault Divorce Law
California paved the way for couples to be able to terminate their marriage without needing to blame each other for the reasons behind their separation. It was the first state in the country to pass no-fault divorce laws in 1969. No-fault divorce introduced a new concept that essentially means that neither spouse can claim that the other is at fault for the end of the marriage. Misconduct in a marriage, such as adultery, is also irrelevant in a divorce action.
What is the History of No-Fault Divorce Law?
Before the Family Law Act of 1969, married couples in California could only divorce if they listed reasons such as desertion, adultery, or extreme cruelty. Generally, California looked toward the divorce reform in New York, which occurred in 1966. This law allowed spouses who were residents of New York to get a divorce if they lived apart for at least two years. New York’s bill set the bar for California’s own divorce reform, which influenced the divorce laws throughout the country.
No-Fault Divorce’s Effect on Divorce Decree
In the majority of cases, California’s family court system won’t consider fault on the part of either spouse when determining the terms of the divorce. This may not always apply in cases involving issues of spousal support, alimony, child support or child custody. Additionally, California is a community property state, which means that property acquired during the marriage is typically divided equally among the two spouses.
Exceptions to Fault Considerations in California Divorce
In California, there are limited situations in which the court will consider wrongdoing on the part of a spouse when determining issues in a divorce. Failing to disclose or hiding assets during divorce proceedings can result in the court imposing sanctions on that party. In other words, that party may be required to pay more to the other party. Custody decisions, however, are always made with the best interests of the child in mind.
In the case of a contested divorce, a divorce where one or more of the partners disagree on how to handle property, things become more complicated. If you have a contested divorce in the state of California, one of the parties must contact the court to settle the contested case.
For any divorce where there are considerations or contestations, partnering with an attorney who is experienced in family law is essential to the success of the case. Experienced attorneys know the right steps to take to form a credible and compelling argument in your favor.
California Divorce Process Overview
For a person to file for divorce in the state of California, the person or spouse is required to have lived in the state at least six months beforehand. The filing of a divorce petition can be done at their county’s Superior Court. The paperwork must be filed and served against the other party. It takes a minimum of six months from the time the paperwork is served to terminate marital status in the counties of Riverside and San Bernardino, California.
Our Experienced Divorce Attorneys Can Help You Understand No-Fault Divorce in California
The steps to initiating and finalizing your divorce can extend beyond six months without the help of an experienced Riverside divorce attorney. If you’re planning to file for divorce now, there’s no time to spare. You need to contact a trusted and experienced divorce attorney near you.
The attorneys at Bratton & Razo have been practicing 100% Family Law in the San Bernardino Valley for more than 30 years. Each of our attorneys takes his or her time getting to know our clients and understand each case on an individual level. Our 80 years of combined family law experience provides a unique advantage when representing your case.
For help understanding the next steps to take for a successful divorce, call our office at 951-684-9000 for a Free Telephone Consultation or fill out our convenient and simple online contact form today!
Frequently Asked Questions About No-Fault Divorce in California
Is California A No Fault State For Divorce?
Yes, in California, all divorces are no-fault divorces. This means the spouse asking for a divorce does not have to prove the other spouse did something wrong. Rather, spouses may cite the “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for divorce. This means that the two parties could not resolve their differences.
How Does Adultery Affect Divorce In California?
It does not. Misconduct in a marriage, such as adultery, is irrelevant in a divorce action in California.
What Are The Grounds For Divorce In California?
California is a no-fault state, so a spouse filing for divorce does not need to prove any wrongdoing on the part of the other spouse to seek a divorce. Rather, the parties can claim “”irreconcilable differences”” as the reason for the failure of their marriage. Irreconcilable differences means that the spouses can no longer work out their issues. Alternately, another legitimate ground for divorce in California is permanent legal incapacity.
When Did California Became A No Fault Divorce State?
California became the first no-fault divorce state in 1969.
What Does No Fault Divorce Mean?
No-fault divorce essentially means that neither spouse can claim that the other is at fault for the end of the marriage.