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What are Grounds for Divorce in California?

No one enters into a marriage expecting it to one day end in divorce. Unfortunately, that’s the case for roughly 200,000 men and women each year in California.

Because there are no federal guidelines for divorce, each state has its own set of rules in place regarding divorce.

Understanding California’s Grounds for Divorce

California allows for two types of grounds for divorce — Irreconcilable Difference and Incurable Insanity.

  • Irreconcilable Differences: Also known as a “no-fault” divorce, this essentially means that “there has been an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage” and no future efforts regarding reconciliation would be able to repair the marriage. This is by far the most common method for divorce in California.
  • Incurable Insanity: Though this is a legal ground for divorce, it’s rarely used. In order to obtain a divorce through Incurable Insanity, one spouse would have to provide medical evidence that shows their spouse is medically insane and there is no cure for their insanity.

Because California is a no-fault state, the courts don’t have to take additional matters into consideration. Say, for example, your spouse had an affair while you were married — that is not reason enough for a judge to grant you a more favorable settlement. However, if your spouse used considerable amounts of joint money to conduct the affair, that could be considered wasteful dissipation and you may receive more funds or assets in the divorce because of that.

Residential Requirements

In order to file a divorce in California, you and/or your spouse must meet certain requirements:

  • The filing party must have lived in California for at least six months.
  • The filing party must also have lived in the county of filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage for at least 90 days.

If you’re considering filing for divorce in California, it’s essential you have a native attorney by your side. An attorney can alleviate the emotional stress of a divorce, navigate the family law system, and help you reach a favorable outcome.

Schedule a consultation today by calling our attorneys in San Diego at (619) 577-4900 or complete our convenient online contact form.