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Does California law allow for fault-based divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2022 | Divorce |

If you are on comparatively good terms with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you may be thankful for California’s no-fault approach to divorce. Because of no-fault divorce rules, you only must assert that you and your husband or wife have irreconcilable differences.

According to Section 2311 of the California Family Code, irreconcilable differences are substantial reasons a court should dissolve your marriage. This is intentionally broad, making it easier for married couples to divorce.

Your divorce goals

Not all divorcing spouses remain on good terms, of course. If you want to hold your spouse accountable for abuse, adultery or other bad acts, you may wonder if California allows you to file a fault-based divorce. Unlike in many other states, fault-based divorce is not possible in the Golden State.

Your divorce decree

Even though you must seek a no-fault divorce, you still may be able to use your spouse’s terrible behaviors to your advantage. If your husband or wife had an affair, for example, you may be able to recoup any marital assets he or she spent on the affair.

Your child custody arrangement

Likewise, if you have evidence of domestic abuse, abandonment or adultery, you may have an easier time obtaining the child custody arrangement you want. That is, a judge is likely to consider your evidence when evaluating what is in the best interests of your children.

If you have anger and resentment toward your soon-to-be ex-spouse, working with a qualified therapist may be beneficial. Ultimately, though, you should tell your attorney about your spouse’s behavior during your marriage to be certain you receive the divorce settlement you deserve.


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