What are Grounds for Divorce?

Residency Requirements:

Before deciding which basis you will use to dissolve or nullify your marriage you must qualify. In order to qualify you must have resided in the state for a minimum of 6 months and in the county for at least 3 months. However, if do not currently qualify we still may be able to help you if there are other issues and invite you to call our office for a free consultation (818) 435-4149.

Grounds for Divorce or Nullity of Marriage:

A marriage in California is either dissolved known as a “dissolution of marriage” or nullified known as “nullity of marriage”.

Dissolution of marriage is based on either irreconcilable differences or incurability insanity and not “fault”. In fact California is what is called a “no fault” divorce state. In a “no fault” divorce state the court does not care who was responsible for the demise of the marriage. As a result there are only two reasons for divorce/dissolution of marriage:

Irreconcilable Differences [Fam. Code §2310(a)].  Irreconcilable differences is a “no-fault” ground for dissolution of marriage based on a permanent breakdown of the marriage.  That “breakdown” of the marriage can be caused by adultery, changed feelings, or anything else that make it impossible for you to reconcile with your spousal.

Incurable Insanity [Fam. Code §2310(b)].  Incurable insanity when the other spouse is incurably insane at the time the petition was filed and remains so at the time of the hearing and judgment. [Fam. Code §2312].  As a result a marriage may only be dissolved on the ground of incurable insanity by proof.  That proof usually includes “competent medial or psychiatric testimony” that the spouse is incurably insane and will not recover from the insanity by the time of judgment.  There is no concrete rule what constitutes insanity and the code leaves the issue of insanity to the court.  Therefore, courts usually focus on whether a spouse’s mental state interferes with the normal and standard marital responsibilities and interaction to the degree that it makes the parties’ relationship a “marriage” in name only.

Nullity of Marriage in California is handled differently than dissolution and requires a more in-depth discussion which we invite you to talk to us about. The two main categories of Nullity of Marriage are Nullity of Void Marriage and Nullity of Voidable Marriage.

  • Nullity of Void Marriage must be based on Incestuous Marriage [Fam. Code §2200] or Bigamous Marriage [Fam. Code §2201].
  • Nullity of Voidable Marriage on the other hand has six basis for being able to possibly void the marriage which are: (1) Petitioner’s Age at the Time of Marriage [Fam. Code §2210(a)]; (2)Prior Existing Marriage [Fam. Code §2210(b)]; (3) Unsound Mind [Fam. Code §2210(c)]; (4) Fraud [Fam. Code §2210(d)]; (5) Force[Fam. Code §2210(e)]; and (6) Physical Incapacity [Fam. Code §2210(f)].

The Law Office of Margaret D. Wilson represents clients all over Los Angeles County and certain parts of Ventura. If you have questions regarding filing for a divorce, legal separation, or nullity of marriage or want some pre-filing counseling give.

If you are looking for an attorney that is sensible and effective then call us today for a free one time 30 minute attorney consultation at 818-435-4149.