Prior to the enactment of the Family Law Act, California law allowed divorce on any of these seven grounds:
- Extreme cruelty
- Willful desertion
- Willful neglect
- Habitual intemperance
- Conviction of a felony
- Incurable insanity
Newer divorce laws in California greatly simplify the grounds recognized for divorce. California is now a no-fault divorce state, meaning that a spouse suing for divorce no longer needs to prove that the other spouse did something wrong. As such, California recognizes the following two grounds for divorce:
- Irreconcilable differences: In essence, this follows the concept of insupportability of the legitimate ends of the marriage. In other words, one spouse says he or she can no longer live as married to the other spouse. This means that the couple no longer gets along. The reasons may be complexâthe couple may argue frequently over a variety of issues or disagree on financial assets or moral groundsâor it can be as simple as when a couple has grown apart over a period of time
- Incurable insanity: This requires substantial medical and psychiatric proof and testimony that a spouse was insane when the petition was filed, and proof that the spouse continues to be incurably insane. You should note that a spouse is still responsible for court-ordered alimony or child support even after their insanity has been proven
It is important to know that even though the grounds for divorce in a no-fault state like California are fairly straightforward, dividing marital assets and determining custody and support issues for your children is not as simple as is commonly believed. It is critical to retain an experienced Orange County family law firm to protect your rights and make sure your new life is the best possible for you and your children.
At the Orange County family attorneys of Hughes & Sullivan , we make it our personal mission to truly listen and understand our client’s needs, responding with compassion and sensitivity while developing a legal course of action tailored to your needs. With decades of experience litigating simple to complex divorce cases, our legal team is poised to provide sound legal advice, advocating on our client’s behalf to enable the best possible solution.