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In California, what are the grounds for divorce?

July 31, 2021 Uncategorized

In California, what are the grounds for divorce?

In this context, the word “grounds” is a synonym for “basis”, thus the reference “grounds for divorce” as a commonly used legal term.  In that case, we’re referring to the laws and regulations as “grounds.”

Legal standards differ from one state to the next, and even within a state, rules can differ from one county to the next. Some states still require proof of wrongdoing before granting a divorce. Others may ask you to explain why you desire a divorce to the court, even if your reasons aren’t related to a direct marriage infraction. California is a no-fault state when it comes to awarding divorces.

Divorce with No Fault

California is one of only 17 states in the United States that allows for no-fault divorce. In plain English, these states recognize that a divorce may not be the result of anyone’s wrongdoing. It’s possible that two people aren’t getting along anymore. Maybe they were great friends at first but have since drifted away, or maybe they didn’t know each other very well to begin with. In any case, a marriage that isn’t functioning might be ended by alleging “irreconcilable differences,” which is the legal term for a marriage that simply can’t be healed.

No-fault divorces have numerous advantages. Consider a marriage in which you’ve grown apart and are just unhappy. You want to end things, but you’re in a position where you’ll need “evidence of blame” to do so.

This may push you to exaggerate or fabricate claims in order to complete the divorce. Even if no one in the marriage did anything inherently “wrong,” you’ll probably want to protect your spouse’s reputation. A fault-based divorce could theoretically be denied, which is unusual and unlikely. If your husband can show that your accusations were baseless, a judge may order you to remain married.

The ability to file for an “uncontested divorce” is another significant benefit of a no-fault divorce. Both parties can agree on the divorce and all of its outcomes in this case. They can, for example, decide how property should be divided. This method requires significantly less paperwork and takes far less time.

All you have to do now is file the documents, wait for the court to approve them, and you’re done. You’ll save money as well because you won’t have to pay a lawyer to build and argue your case. In addition, the already emotional process of divorce will be less harsh. You will avoid the additional stress of a courtroom battle.

Legal Separation is another option for ending a marriage in California.

Separation acknowledges that a couple desires to live apart and pursue different lives, even if it does not officially end the marriage. Assets can be redistributed, and child support and custody concerns can be decided by a court, much as in a divorce.

The procedure is similar to that of a divorce. If the couple did not make this decision together, one party will file for divorce and the other will be notified. From then, the couple can establish amicable agreements, as in an uncontested divorce, or they can take the case to court, where judges will make the final judgment.

For a variety of reasons, a couple may wish to stay legally married. The financial perks of staying married are a plus. When persons are officially joined, they can continue to get several benefits and types of insurance. There are also psychological advantages. Perhaps the pair wants to do a “test run” divorce to discover if they are happy apart. Someone may also desire to stay in the marriage for cultural or religious reasons.


An annulment in California, unlike divorce, requires proof of a very precise set of conditions. An annulment differs from a divorce in terms of legal recognition. A divorce is the dissolution of a relationship. An annulment is the process of declaring a marriage null and void. When a court awards an annulment, it essentially says that the state no longer acknowledges the marriage, as opposed to saying that it recognizes a marriage that has already ended.

In California, grounds for annulment include:

  • One party was already married;
  • One party was experiencing a mental health crisis at the time of their marriage. They want out of the marriage now that they have regained their faculties.
  • One of the parties was unable to agree to the marriage. One of the spouses, for example, was comatose when the marriage was consummated.
  • One of the parties was unable to physically enter.
  • This standard is a “catch-all” for a marriage in which one of the parties was not present.
  • One of the parties was compelled to marry. This could be done in a variety of ways, including physical threats, fraud (meaning the other person may have duped them into the marriage), blackmail, and so on.
  • To make this claim work, the accused must establish that they were not living with their own free will.


California mandates that annulment reasons be challenged in court, and it provides partners plenty of time to do so.

  • If you were coerced into a marriage, you have at least four years to annul it.
  • You were unable to consent to the marriage for whatever reason.
  • One of the wives is discovered to be under the age of 18. (In the case of a minor, their parents can file any time before the minor reaches legal age)

There is no time limit on some of the grounds for annulment. If you learn your spouse is already married, you can annul the marriage at any moment. The same can be said for the assertion that you were insane for the course of your marriage.



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