Do I Need a Reason to File for Divorce in California?

Do I Need a Reason to File for Divorce in California?

It’s never easy, but it happens. You’ve decided you want a divorce. There are an entire host of reasons as to why you’ve made this decision, but some people may wonder if they need a reason. In other words, do you have to provide a reason as to why you’re filing for divorce? You may not have to give as many details as you might think. The state of California does have specific rules and legalities to navigate as you advance towards divorce, which can be difficult to navigate without a solid foundation of the legal system. This is where an attorney can help you.

California Law: The Grounds for Divorce

California is a “no-fault divorce state,” which means that you do not need to give a reason for wanting the divorce. You can file based on irreconcilable differences, a term meaning that your marriage is broken beyond repair, and you cannot fix it. The state of California also allows you to file in two different ways:

Irreconcilable Differences

One way for spouses to file for divorce is if they have irreconcilable differences. When spouses don’t want to remain married and can find no areas of agreement on issues such as child custody and support, spousal support equity division, etc., one spouse files a Petition with the court stating that there are serious reasons which justify the dissolution of the marriage, known as irreconcilable differences. This is a fault-free ground for filing, which means that it does not matter who broke the marriage. The court will still grant a divorce if both spouses agree to it.

Incurable Insanity

In California, there is a second way to file for divorce called “incurable insanity.” This is when one spouse is unable to provide for their own personal needs, and the other spouse has become a caretaker. This may mean that one person has mental or physical disabilities that prevent them from holding a job or functioning in society. Because of this, the healthy spouse must be able to provide for both people’s personal needs. If one spouse is unable or unwilling to do this, the court will allow both spouses to file for divorce under this ground. It does not matter who broke up the marriage or which spouse has this disability. This is a fault-free ground for filing, which means that it does not matter who broke the marriage or what led to its end. The court will still grant a divorce if both spouses agree to it.

Divorce is never fun, but you don’t have to give any specific reasons as to why you want out of your marriage. For this reason, it is important that you consult with an attorney who can help guide you through the process and ensure that you are aware of all your legal rights.

How Can I End My Marriage in California?

There are three different options for spouses who are looking to end their marriage:

Divorce: This is the legal termination of a marriage. In California, a divorce ends your marriage and all marital rights that you and your spouse previously shared. This commonly occurs in five stages.

Legal Separation: A legal separation does not end your marriage, but it creates a de facto separation where you are not living together. You can still have all of your marital rights without living together. However, you can also file for divorce later if the legal separation shows no signs of improving.

Annulment: An annulment is different from a divorce in that it treats the marriage as if it never existed. This is possible if there was fraud, threats, or force involved in getting married that has no chance of being resolved. This is a purely legal distinction, so whether or not you have an annulment does not affect your divorce proceedings in any way.

How Can I Tell If I Am Not Happy in My Marriage?

Some people are more prone to unhappiness than others, but there is no specific rule for when you should file your divorce. However, if you find yourself asking whether or not you should file for divorce, there are some frequent warning signs that may indicate it is time to consider your options:

  • You don’t share intimate moments with your spouse anymore. If you never want to be intimate with your partner, then it’s a clear sign that you are no longer happy in your marriage. If even the idea of physical contact with your spouse is unappealing, then it’s time to consider whether it would be better to end things with your spouse.
  • The lines of communication have closed off between you and your partner. If you feel like your spouse doesn’t want to talk through problems with you, then it’s likely that they don’t think there is any chance of a resolution between the two of you. If your spouse stops providing emotional support to you, then it’s likely that they are preparing themselves for a divorce.
  • You don’t feel like you belong in your home anymore. If the house feels more and more like a place to sleep and eat food rather than a place to relax and spend time with your family, then it’s likely that you are unhappy in the marriage. If your spouse is uninterested in your hobbies and interests, then there may not be much of a marriage left to salvage.
  • You are constantly fighting with your spouse. If you find yourself constantly arguing with your partner, then it’s likely that you are unhappy in the marriage and want out of it. You should try to resolve these issues with your spouse, but if they refuse to work through them and you feel like there is no chance of a resolution, then it may be time to file for divorce.
  • You don’t care as much about your family as you used to. If you don’t care about your family’s future, then it means that you have checked out of the marriage entirely. If you and your spouse can’t resolve these issues, then it may be time to file for divorce.
  • You don’t trust your spouse anymore. If you can no longer confide in or rely on your spouse, then it’s likely that you are unhappy in your marriage. You shouldn’t have to keep secrets from the person who is supposed to be your partner, so if you find yourself doing this with your spouse, then it’s likely that the marriage is already over.

Connect With Khalaf Law Group to Begin the Divorce Process

If you are unhappy or frustrated in your marriage, then it may be time to consider whether or not you should officially file for divorce. There is no specific time limit for when you should file, but if your spouse isn’t willing to work through the problems in the relationship and there’s no chance of a resolution, then it may be time to consider your options.

The Khalaf Law Group provides experienced legal counsel with compassionate client service to help you through your divorce proceedings. They represent clients who are looking to file for a simple, uncontested divorce and those who need assistance with child custody disputes.

Contact Khalaf Law Group online today to start your divorce case.

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