You may know that you want to file for divorce without being certain that you can qualify for one. After all, divorce law is a little bit different in every state, and you may not know conclusively what rules will apply to your family here in California.
The law in California currently only provides two grounds for divorce. Your situation will need to fit into one of the two categories below if you hope to file for divorce in California. When can you request a divorce from the California family courts?
When your spouse becomes permanently incapacitated
If, whether due to physical injury or a severe and intractable mental health condition, your spouse becomes permanently incapacitated, you may potentially have grounds for a divorce. Both a persistent coma or a severe mental health condition that forces them to live at a specialized facility could qualify as permanent incapacitation that will justify a divorce.
There are several ways to prove incapacitation. Medical records can be among the simplest, as the documentation needed to institutionalize someone already meets a very high standard.
When your relationship is beyond repair
Divorce often becomes a consideration not because of the physical or cognitive decline of one spouse but rather because of the overall decline of the marital relationship. People can grow apart slowly over the years and fall out of love with one another. Other times, one spouse can do something that forever destroys the trust and respect necessary for a healthy marriage.
California allows either spouse to cite irreconcilable differences that have caused an irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship as grounds for divorce. Thankfully, you won’t need to prove the breakdown of your relationship. You don’t need a private investigator’s reports showing infidelity or police reports showing you suffered abuse. You just need to claim the relationship isn’t salvageable.
Your spouse cannot defend against claims that the relationship is beyond saving or prevent you from filing a no-fault divorce based on claims of irreconcilable differences. Your spouse generally will not be able to prevent a no-fault filing, even if they go so far as to refuse to respond at all. Understanding the grounds for divorce in California can help you feel confident about moving forward even if you don’t have any evidence of misconduct.