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What are legitimate reasons to divorce in California?

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2024 | divorce

When a California family court judge oversees proceedings for the dissolution of a marriage, there are various decisions for one to make and rulings executed. Every state has unique guidelines to govern such matters. To obtain a divorce in this state, you must have a reason that aligns with the legitimate causes defined under state laws.  

Another way to say that you have a legally legitimate reason to divorce is to say that you have grounds for filing a petition. California judges will grant a divorce for one of two reasons. You can claim to have irreconcilable differences in your marriage. The other legitimate cause for divorce is known as “permanent legal incapacity to make decisions.”  

What are irreconcilable differences in a divorce? 

When filing for divorce in California upon these grounds, you do not have to explain yourself. In other words, it is enough to say that you and your spouse have determined that your relationship has suffered an irremediable breakdown, meaning there are issues between you that you are unable to resolve. You have determined that you cannot reconcile and wish to move on in life without each other.  

What is permanent legal incapacity? 

When a person experiences permanent incapacitation and is unable to make decisions, it constitutes legal grounds to file for a divorce. A spouse may have various reasons for doing so. As opposed to irreconcilable differences, which need no explanation, you must provide proof of permanent legal incapacitation. Such proof typically includes testimony from a licensed professional, such as a physician or psychologist.  

Issues to resolve in either type of divorce 

Whether you are filing for divorce in California based on irreconcilable differences or permanent legal incapacity, you must resolve numerous issues to achieve a settlement. If you are a parent, you must devise a child custody plan. The court must also split all marital assets and liabilities 50/50 because this state operates under community property rules.  

Other issues, such as child support or spousal support, might be relevant to your case. In addition to resolving these issues, you must file the proper paperwork in the proper court and must also be prepared to pay the fees associated with processing your petition. Filing for divorce can be a bit scary, especially if it is your first time. You can minimize stress by relying on support from someone who is knowledgeable about the family justice system and can help make sure you receive a fair settlement.