What Are the Grounds for Divorce in California?

signing divorce papers

In decades past, if a couple wanted to divorce they would generally need to cite the reason they are separating. Adultery, abandonment, and cruelty were often used as grounds for divorce to explain why it was necessary. However, as society evolved, many states adopted “no-fault” divorce to help make this process smoother and less contentious. If you’re curious about the grounds for divorce in California, the following blog explores what you must know. Additionally, you’ll discover how a Los Angeles divorce attorney can help you during this process.

What Should I Know About the Grounds for Divorce in California?

While citing grounds for a divorce is still an option in many states, California has simplified the process. This prevents additional tension and fighting, as it can help make the process smoother. Unfortunately, when divorces are highly contentious, they can get dragged out and clog up the court system.

As such, California now only has two options when filing for divorce – irreconcilable differences or legal incapacity to make decisions. Irreconcilable differences essentially mean one or both parties feel as though there was an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, and there is nothing that can be done to repair the union. Legal incapacity means someone is physically or mentally incapable of making decisions, permanently.

It’s necessary to understand if there was a reason for your divorce, such as facing abuse at the hands of your spouse or their infidelity, you should still share this with your attorney. However, these details will not impact the outcome of the divorce.

Additionally, there are instances in which someone can get their marriage annulment, which generally invalidates the marriage and wipes it from the record. These are granted in cases of incest, fraud, coercion, or where a spouse is below the age of consent.

What Should I Do if I Want a Divorce in Riverside County?

If you want a divorce in California, it’s imperative to contact an attorney once you decide your marriage is over. Unfortunately, many assume they can navigate this process on their own, which is far from the truth. In reality, this is a complex legal process, as you’ll need to consider property distribution, child custody, alimony, and many other decisions that can impact the rest of your life.

It’s also important to note that if you are a victim of abuse at the hands of your spouse, you can submit evidence to avoid paying alimony, so long as your spouse was convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. As such, you do not have to worry about not being able to file for divorce on the grounds of cruelty.

Though this process can be intimidating, having the assistance of an attorney from the Zitser Family Law Group can help make this transition much smoother. Our team can provide the guidance necessary to help you during these challenging times.

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