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Specializing In Family Law Litigation And Mediation

Do I have to allege fault for a California divorce?

Once upon a time in jurisdictions throughout the United States an individual had to allege and prove a "fault" basis so that they could secure a divorce from their spouse. Fault grounds included, but were not limited to, allegations of adultery, desertion, incarceration, insanity, cruelty and impotency.

Some states still have fault grounds on their books that their residents may use to end their marriages. In California, though, couples opt to file for divorce based on irreconcilable differences existing between them and their spouses. These irreconcilable differences do not have to do anything with fault; in California, a couple may divorce based on the no fault basis of irreconcilable differences.

Individuals must meet myriad requirements to file for divorce in California. For example, they must be residents of the state in order to file within its borders and they must pay the appropriate fees in order to have their matters heard in the courts. They do not, however, have to claim that their spouses hurt or abused them, that their spouses engaged in criminal enterprises or that their spouses otherwise provided them with fault bases on which to file for divorce.

A move by jurisdictions to adopt and accept no fault grounds for divorce highlights the law's willingness to facilitate people's desires to divorce over the law's antiquated attempt to protect marriages. Individuals no longer have to agree with their spouses that divorce is necessary. People may file for divorce independent of their partners, and may secure divorces without ever having to seek their partner's consent.

California residents do not have to allege or prove fault when seeking to divorce their partners. There are other requirements they must meet, though, before their divorces may be successful. Readers are asked to discuss their divorce-related legal questions with their family law attorneys and should not rely on the information contained in this post as legal guidance.

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