“No-Fault Divorce”

What does no fault divorce mean?

Divorce can be a stressful and emotional experience under any circumstances, but not all divorces end as a result of misconduct.

In 1970, California became the first state to implement ‘no-fault divorce.’

Essentially, a no-fault divorce means that either spouse can end the marriage without a reason – other than irreconcilable differences. That can mean almost anything from a spouse committing adultery to a spouse simply deciding they don’t want to be married anymore.

California requires people seeking divorce to reside in the state at least six months before filing.

Because no-fault divorce recognizes that both parties contributed to the marriage problems, courts do not punish one party over another financially or otherwise. The courts look for an equitable arrangement between the parties in order for them to become financially independent again.

No-fault divorce makes the process less litigious. Parties don’t have to hire anyone to prove specific grounds for divorce, such as a private investigator. It decreases the amount of litigation and allows the couple to focus on important issues, including child custody, child support and marital asset distribution.

Regarding marital property – California is a community property state. Each spouse will receive an equal percentage of the marital property, unless they agree to a different settlement. This applies to all debts as well.

If one spouse doesn’t want the divorce, it doesn’t matter – there is little he or she can do other than try to delay the process through legal maneuvering.

There is a six-month waiting period for the divorce to become final; however, this doesn’t mean that anything will happen in six months unless the divorce is uncontested and the process goes smoothly. Six months is the earliest a court will grant a final divorce.

When facing a divorce, there are a number of matters you must address and resolve. Whatever your particular situation may be, our legal team is here to guide you through your divorce process and any other matters you face.

Contact the Orange County family law offices of Amy M. Montes to learn more about just how much we can do for you. We listen and we are there for you when you need us.