What is a no-fault divorce?
It is hard to imagine a divorce without conflict or confrontation. A reader of this Escondido family law blog may find it difficult to imagine a situation in which the parties to a couple would want to divorce despite not having tension in their marriage. This seemingly incongruous scenario may appear to play out whenever a couple files for a no-fault divorce.
However, no-fault in the context of divorce does not mean no conflict. No-fault divorces are still based on legally recognized grounds for ending marriages, and this post will explain what a no-fault divorce in California generally looks like. No part of this post is provided as legal advice, and readers with divorce-related questions should contact their trusted family law attorneys.
What no-fault means in a divorce
When a person or couple decides that it is time to seek a divorce, the party or parties must base their request on legally recognized grounds. Historically and in some current American jurisdictions, fault grounds such as adultery or cruelty may serve as grounds for divorce. Californians do not have to base their divorces on fault. They may plead that irreconcilable differences plague their marriage and that those differences cannot be overcome.
To this end, a no-fault divorce is not one that lacks problems, but rather is one that has problems the parties cannot solve to save their marriage. In addition to a pleading of irreconcilable differences, Californians can plead that their marriages are affected by incurable insanity, which also can serve as a grounds for divorce.
Conflict may still impact no-fault divorces
The existence of the no-fault grounds for divorce does not preclude couples from fighting over important matters as their marriages end. Alimony, child custody, property division, support, and other issues can ignite significant differences that may require judicial intervention to sort out. While parties to divorce proceedings may be able to negotiate certain aspects of their divorces with ease, others may remain problematic. To get to the bottom of difficult divorce issues, individuals can lean heavily on their trusted legal counselors and divorce attorneys.