Legal Grounds for Filing for Divorce in California

What are the Grounds for Divorce in California?

California is a no-fault state divorce state which means that any spouse can file for a divorce for any reason.

The terms used on the petition and response form is called “irreconcilable differences.”

The court no longer has to find that either party is at fault to grant a divorce, which used to be the old law.

The most common ground for a divorce is “irreconcilable differences.” This means that spouses have differences that cannot be bridged or overcome to save the marriage.

Besides “irreconcilable differences,” California family law recognizes one other ground, namely, “permanent legal incapacity to make decisions.” This is also known as “incurable insanity.” Proof is needed to show this condition, including competent medical or psychiatric testimony that at the time the petition was filed that the spouse was and remains permanently lacking the legal capacity to make decisions.

Requesting a divorce is different from seeking a nullity of marriage.

Both a divorce and a nullity of marriage terminate the marriage. A nullity is asking the family court to find that because of certain grounds, the marriage never legally took place.

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