Defining the Grounds for Divorce in California

Pleasanton CA divorce attorneyPeople usually get married with the intention of staying together for the rest of their lives. However life doesn’t always play out how we expect and marriages don’t always work out for a variety of reasons. Perhaps financial strain pushed the two apart, maybe one decided to step out of the marriage with infidelity, or sometimes people just realize they aren’t truly as compatible as they thought they were. 

Does the reason behind the divorce matter? Today, we’re taking a look at how California determines grounds for divorce. In other words, what are the valid reasons someone can get divorced in CA?

California is a No-Fault State

In many states, specific reasons or factors behind a divorce can play a significant role in the proceedings themselves. However, CA is considered a “no-fault” state. This means that factors such as infidelity, abandonment, cruel behavior, and others cannot be marked as factors for divorce. Instead, CA family code establishes two main potential reasons for divorce: irreconcilable differences or permanent legal incapacity. 

Irreconcilable Differences

This is a catch-all term to describe any marriage where differences between two parties has simply made it impossible for them to continue in their marriage. Given how vague and undefined this is, the CA family law courts often won’t do a deep dive into assessing how these differences make the marriage irreconcilable. Instead, it often accepts these reasons, which means that individuals are free to seek a divorce without having to jump through specific hoops.

Permanent Legal Incapacity

Used much less frequently, permanent legal incapacity describes situations where an individual is no longer able to make any legal decisions on their own behalf. This is a much more narrowly defined factor than irreconcilable differences, and the bar to prove this is much higher. Those seeking a divorce often have to rely on reports and testimony from medical professionals to establish that permanent legal incapacity is the primary grounds for divorce. 

Talk to a California Divorce Attorney

As you can see, establishing grounds for divorce in CA can be less restricting than in other states. However, the legal proceedings themselves are just as complex and involved, which means that you’ll still want the assistance of a legal expert. 

If you have any questions about family law or divorce in CA, or if you’re looking to get the process started, you should connect with a legal professional as soon as possible. Give us a call today at 925-271-0999 to learn more about how we at the Law Offices of James P. White can help.