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The two acceptable grounds for divorce in California

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2023 | Divorce

There could be many reasons why spouses decide to end their marriage, such as infidelity, neglect and abuse. But as a “no-fault” divorce state, California does not need spouses to prove the misconduct of the other to obtain a divorce. The state made its divorce process simpler by establishing only two grounds for divorce: irreconcilable differences and permanent legal incapacity.

Irreconcilable differences

Spouses only need to show that they have irreconcilable differences that lead to the marriage’s unrepairable and permanent end.

But what does irreconcilable difference mean? It pertains to the circumstances the judge has determined have caused the end of the marriage. So, whether the split is due to adultery or repetitive disagreements, the judge will label the ground for divorce as “irreconcilable differences.”

Permanent legal incapacity

The court also allows divorce on the ground of the permanent legal incapacity of one spouse to make decisions. However, unlike the first ground, the party alleging the incapacity must submit proof that the other spouse, at the time of the divorce petition and continuously, lacks the legal capacity to make decisions.

Evidence could include adequate medical or psychiatric certificates or statements. In these testimonies, the doctor must have determined that one spouse is permanently unable to make decisions for themselves due to an injury, illness or psychological disorder.

Simpler and more manageable

Divorce requires a lot of time and energy, and the entire process can be exhausting. Having only two grounds to establish makes the divorce process for parties in California simpler and more manageable.