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What Are Grounds for Divorce in California?

  • California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that when you file for divorce, you need to have grounds for doing so but that it’s also not necessary to point the finger and make accusations.

    Even if a spouse has been unfaithful or there has been financial instability, this is not the time to address it. Instead, the court is simply looking for the legal grounds to hear the case and rule on the divorce.


    Irreconcilable Differences

    Irreconcilable differences are the most common grounds for divorce in California. This means that there are things both parties can't agree on. It’s not necessary to discuss what those things actually are, however.

    During the divorce trial, or when certifying the divorce, a judge will typically accept irreconcilable differences on face value.


    Permanent Legal Incapacity

    If someone is incapable of making legal decisions because he or she lacks the mental or physical capacity to do so, then that can be grounds for divorce. This could be someone who has been legally declared insane, suffered physically and no longer has the mental capacity to care for him or herself, or has been legally deemed incapable of making important decisions.

    Permanent legal incapacity is an actual medical reason for getting a divorce, so a doctor must be involved. The physician must diagnose the patient as being legally incapacitated, who then needs to remain that way throughout the divorce proceeding.

    Just be aware that if this is the grounds for divorce, there is a good chance that the judge may award alimony or spousal support to provide for incapacitated individual’s continued care.


    Annulment Could Be a Better Option

    Sometimes, the reason for a divorce is grounds for a marriage annulment. Grounds for annulment can include the following:

    • Fraud
    • One party being a minor at the time of the marriage
    • One party already being married
    • Inability to consummate the marriage
    • Getting married under threat of harm

    If an annulment is granted, it will be as though the marriage never existed.


    Speak with a Divorce Lawyer in the Inland Empire

    Find out if you have grounds for divorce due to irreconcilable differences or permanent legal incapacity by calling the Law Office of Laurence J. Brock. Schedule a free consultation by visiting our website or by calling 909-466-7661.