What is a No-Fault Divorce?

In California, all divorces are "No Fault" divorces, meaning the spouse asking for a divorce does not have to prove the other spouse did something wrong. Generally, the spouse who files for divorce does so because of something called "irreconcilable differences." This means the two spouses just couldn't get along.

It does not matter if one spouse had an affair in a no fault divorce. California law does not punish the party who has an affair with less property or more pay support because of an affair. 

In California, all divorces are "No Fault" divorces, meaning the spouse asking for a divorce does not have to prove the other spouse did something wrong.

The spouse who files is known as the "Petitioner," and the spouse who responds is known as the "Respondent." There is no legal advantage to being the first to file; however, in some circumstances, there may be a significant strategic advantage to being the first to file.

Is There Anything I Can Do to Stop the Divorce from Happening?

Since California is a no-fault divorce state, it only takes one spouse who wants to file a divorce. If the other spouse does not want to divorce, there is little they can do other than try to delay the divorce through legal maneuvering, which may expose them to attorneys' fees for their unreasonable conduct.

Will My Divorce Be Final Six Months After I File?

There is a six month "waiting period" for a divorce to become final. This does not mean that anything will automatically happen in six months. Many people assume that, since it's been over six months, their divorce should be final.

The reality is that six months is the earliest a court will grant a final divorce (thus allowing you to re-marry), but most divorces take far more than six months to complete. In order to complete your divorce, you will either need to settle your divorce case or you will need to take your case to trial.

It's possible to settle a case in far less than six months and to implement the terms of your divorce settlement well before the six months are up. However, the court won't grant a final divorce decree until six months have passed from the date that your spouse was served.

 

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California Divorce Guide


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