California is one of 17 states that have a strict no-fault divorce process. No-fault is just what it sounds like. The person filing for the divorce only says that there has been an irreparable breakdown of the marriage and there is no possibility of saving it because the couple has irreconcilable differences.
Even if your spouse does not want the divorce, you are able to end your marriage and get divorced. You do not have to prove the other party was at fault for the breakdown.
Prior to the no-fault divorce provision, divorce could get messy. The spouse wanting the divorce would have to prove some type of misconduct by their spouse, such as adultery, gambling, addiction, or some other issue.
Now, what one spouse has or has not done does not matter. The court will grant you a divorce based upon the irretrievable break down of your marriage. Some issues regarding your or your spouses behavior may be relevant to court orders concerning safety or division of finances.
Issues Relevant to Final Order of Dissolution of Marriage
Although there is no fault required for you to be granted a divorce, and a family law Court will not consider the behavior of one spouse as relevant to whether to issue a judgement of dissolution , behavior may be relevant to other aspects of the court’s final order. Some examples include:
- Abusive spouse. You should tell the court if your spouse is abusive to be sure you are going to be safe while going through the process and, possibly, after it is over. You may need a restraining order to keep your spouse away. If children are involved, the court may decide to order the abusive spouse can only have supervised visitation.
- Drug or alcohol dependency or mental health issues. This can also affect visitation and spousal support.
- Wasting assets. If one spouse had an affair and gave expensive presents to the paramour which were bought with community property, a judge may award greater assets to the spouse who did not have the affair. This is not because the spouse had an affair, but because the spouse wasted community assets. Violating a duty to the treat the community fairly.
Our attorneys at Chase, Berenstein and Murray, Counselors at Law can discuss with you your no-fault divorce, and how best to approach your divorce. Contact us online or by calling 650-642-3897 to schedule a confidential consultation.