Los Angeles No-Fault Divorce Lawyer
Historically, parties seeking divorce had to allege that their spouse did something divorce-worthy according to the law– adultery, cruelty, abandonment, etc. Now, every state in the U.S. offers some form of “no-fault” divorce. A no-fault divorce is simply one in which the parties are not basing the divorce on some sort of wrongdoing by either spouse.
Just because you no longer have to prove that your spouse cheated in order to secure a divorce, however, does not mean the process is simple. No-fault divorces can be just as complicated, difficult, and time-consuming as traditional fault-based divorces. A no-fault divorce lawyer at Blasser Law can walk you through your options for divorce, demystify the divorce process, and represent you throughout your Los Angeles County divorce.
All Divorces in California Are “No-Fault”
While all states now offer no-fault divorce, California and a few other states have taken things a step further: In California, all divorces are no-fault. California’s family law no longer includes things like “intolerable cruelty” as a ground for divorce. Instead, California divorces can be based only on one of two grounds:
- Irreconcilable differences
- Incurable insanity
What are Irreconcilable Differences?
When you file for no-fault divorce in California (outside of filing based on insanity) you are alleging that irreconcilable differences have caused an irrevocable breakdown of the marriage. Basically, you are contending that you and your spouse have reached a point where your differences have broken down the marriage, and there’s no hope of resolving those differences and reconciling.
In California, it’s generally sufficient for one party to simply allege that there are irreconcilable differences, without much more. The other spouse does not need to agree to the divorce, and the court will generally not go fishing for evidence to prove that the marriage has actually broken down. So long as you file all appropriate forms and documents correctly, with the help of a well-versed California divorce attorney, you’ll satisfy the requirements.
Requirements for No-Fault Divorce
To file for divorce in California, at least one party must allege there are irreconcilable differences in the marriage, and the parties must satisfy the residency requirement. California requires that at least one of the spouses must have resided in the state for at least six months prior to the divorce being filed.
No-Fault vs. Uncontested Divorce and Summary Dissolution
No-fault divorce does not mean both parties agree to the divorce, or that both parties agree on all aspects of the divorce. Your no-fault divorce proceeding can still take months or even over a year, depending on the assets in play and how much the parties disagree regarding the issues pertinent to the divorce.
California offers a fast-tracked divorce process known as “summary dissolution” for certain qualifying married couples. Summary dissolution is much faster, cheaper, and less complicated than traditional divorce, but there are a number of strict requirements. To qualify for summary dissolution, the divorcing spouses must:
- Have been married for less than five years
- Have no children born of the marriage, and neither party can be pregnant
- Own no real estate, and only lease the property in which they live
- Not owe more than $6,000 in marital debts
- Have less than $47,000 in marital property or more than $47,000 each in separate property, excluding vehicles (the asset and debt limits shift over time)
- Agree that neither party shall receive spousal support
- Have reached an agreement on all property division
Even if the parties do not qualify for a summary dissolution, the parties can still pursue an “uncontested divorce.” An uncontested divorce is one in which the parties have reached an agreement on all marital issues (property division, alimony, child custody, child support) and are prepared to file their case along with a written marital settlement agreement. An uncontested divorce is still faster than a contested divorce, avoiding many of the conflicts in a prolonged contested divorce.
Talk to an experienced California no-fault divorce attorney to discuss your options for divorce and how you can best protect your property and your family.
Does Fault Ever Matter?
Wrongful behavior such as adultery is generally irrelevant in California unless it triggers some issue that does matter for the divorce. For example, while “intolerable cruelty” is no longer a ground for divorce, a history of domestic abuse can affect child custody. Additionally, while adultery is no longer relevant to divorce, if one party was wasting significant marital assets on gifts and vacations for an extramarital lover, that waste of marital assets may affect property division and/or spousal support.
A knowledgeable California divorce lawyer can explore your circumstances and help you build the strongest case for your desired asset division and custody arrangement.
Get Help From Experienced California No-Fault Divorce Attorneys
For assistance with no-fault divorce in Los Angeles or the San Gabriel Valley, contact the passionate, thorough, and effective Claremont divorce attorneys at Blasser Law for a free consultation at 877-927-2181.