What Are Fault Grounds in a California Divorce?

couple signing divorce papers

In decades past, to get a divorce, you had to prove wrong-doing on behalf of your spouse by filing on fault grounds. As such, this led many to feel as though their business was being displayed to the public. In turn, the California courts enacted a “no-fault” divorce statute, which allowed couples to cite an “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” without having to prove someone did something wrong. However, this is now the only option for obtaining a divorce in the Golden State, leaving those who have been wronged to feel like there is injustice. As such, it’s imperative to connect with a Los Angeles divorce attorney who can help you fight for a favorable outcome during these times. The following blog explores what you should know about fault-based divorce in California.

Does California Recognize Fault Grounds?

It’s important to understand that California is strictly a “no-fault” divorce state. As such, you will not be able to file for divorce on the grounds of anything other than “irreconcilable differences.” Essentially, this means that if your marriage ends because of adultery or abuse, you cannot cite this on your divorce petition because the courts will not take this into consideration when determining the outcome of your divorce.

Should I Still Try to Prove Fault?

If you are getting a divorce because your spouse was abusive, you may feel as though being unable to cite this is unfair and can feel like the guilty party will not face consequences for their actions. However, it’s necessary to understand that you can still use this during your divorce to receive a more favorable outcome in instances like child custody. If you can prove that your spouse was abusive and your child would be in inherent danger in their care, you may receive full custody as a result.

Additionally, if your spouse struggles with addiction and has taken marital assets to fund their problem, you may receive a greater share of assets during the property division phase to make up for their use of the property. This also applies if your spouse had an affair and used martial assets to pay for hotels or purchase gifts for their affair partner.

How Can an Attorney Help Me?

When you are going through a divorce, the process can be incredibly overwhelming. Unfortunately, many people believe they can handle this by themselves, only to realize there is far too much to handle. Between the legal process, managing your day-to-day responsibilities, and healing from the heartache your divorce may have caused, placing your case in the hands of an experienced divorce attorney is critical to receiving the best possible outcome.

At the Zitser Family Law Group, we understand that it may feel like an injustice when your divorce is the fault of your spouse. However, we are here to walk you through this process to fight for the best possible outcome. Whether they have used assets or hurt you, our team will fight for you. Connect with us today to discuss the circumstances of your case with a member of our competent and compassionate legal team.

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