California is a “no fault” divorce state, meaning the party filing for divorce does not have to prove wrongdoing on behalf of their spouse in order to get divorced. So in California, you don’t have to prove that your spouse had an affair or abandoned the marriage, you simply have to determine which of the two grounds for divorce you qualify for under California Family Code Section 2310: irreconcilable differences or incurable insanity. Most petitions for dissolution in California allege irreconcilable differences as the grounds for divorce. Meaning, you and your spouse are unable to get along and that is the reason for the irremediable breakdown of the marriage.
So what does “irreconcilable differences” mean? The California Family Code defines irreconcilable differences as “those grounds which are determined by the court to be substantial reasons for not continuing the marriage and which make it appear that the marriage should be dissolved.” Practically speaking, the “irreconcilable differences” grounds for divorce is liberally accepted by the courts so it is rarely an issue. However, it is important to note that a judge has the power to delay divorce proceedings for up to 30 days under California Family Code Section 2334 if he or she believes there is a reasonable possibility of reconciliation.
To make sure you and your spouse are on the same page, it is a good idea to meet with a mediator in advance of filing for divorce. Before starting the divorce process, an experienced divorce mediator will explore the possibility of reconciliation with both spouses in order to ensure that both parties are on the same page. Doing so will help you and your spouse move forward more smoothly throughout the divorce process. If you need assistance navigating the divorce process contact us for a complimentary initial consultation with one of our divorce mediators today.
- Shazi Rastegar, Esq. – Attorney and Mediator
Please note that this blog is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice.