No Fault, No Problem

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No Fault, No Problem

California is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce.  Generally speaking, this means that there is no reason required for one spouse to request a divorce from the other spouse.  Moreover, it is not necessary that the other spouse consent to or approve of the divorce, or that they even participate in the divorce proceedings.

As such, almost all marital dissolution petitions, Judicial Council form FL-100, indicate that the divorce is occasioned by the stated legal grounds of the euphemistic "irreconcilable differences."  See Family Code Sections 2310-2313.  This is important to know, as many persons that are considering a divorce have preliminary discussions with their spouse, and express their desire to dissolve the marriage.  Frequently, the imminent ex-spouse in this situation will take a less than accommodating approach to the news, which might include statements about refusing to sign the divorce paperwork, exposing infidelity, claiming abandonment, and other similar threats.  Again, no-fault means that none of this matters, and a requested divorce will be granted, as long as the procedural and jurisdictional requirements are satisfied.

Ironically, there still is "fault" that is often considered in divorce proceedings, such as documented domestic violence within the past five years.  Such a finding can result in adverse child custody and visitation orders (Family Code Section 3044), can increase or decrease spousal support (Family Code Section 4320), or even prevent one from receiving spousal support (Family Code Section 4325).

Bottom line is that if a divorce is on the horizon, you need to lawyer up.  There is no time or money to waste on fear, speculation, and threats.  Contact Antonyan Miranda for a confidential consultation to assess your rights, strengths, and weaknesses.

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Timothy Miranda