If you are contemplating divorce and you’ve never been divorced before, surely you have your share of questions. For the purpose of this post, we want to address three specific facts about a California divorce that you should know. We’re addressing these particular facts because they apply to a lot of divorces. If you have pressing questions that aren’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact our firm to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team. We would be more than glad to shed light on your divorce.
Fact 1. California is a no-fault divorce state.
Historically, spouses needed to cite a ground for divorce when they filed their petition. For example, a spouse would cite adultery, cruelty, or abandonment. However, California was the first state to implement no-fault divorce, which means a spouse cites “irreconcilable differences” when he or she files for divorce. In California’s courts, judges are not interested in hearing “why” a marriage fell apart. All the judge cares about is the fact that one spouse wants to end the marriage.
Fact 2. Adultery doesn’t affect spousal support.
If your spouse has been cheating on you and you’ve been saving their racy texts, or if you’ve been collecting their secret emails, please be aware that the judge probably won’t be interested in reviewing the evidence. Why? Because as we mentioned above, California is now a no-fault divorce state; therefore, an affair shouldn’t have any impact on spousal support or property division.
However, if your spouse spent marital assets on things such as hotel rooms, lavish gifts, trips, or even an apartment for their paramour, those expenditures can affect your settlement. If an affair affected the cheating spouse’s ability to parent, it can have an impact on child custody depending on the facts of the case.
Fact 3. California is a community property state.
California is one of a handful of states that is a community property state. This means that a married couple’s assets are owned equally by both of them. Separate property however, remains separate. A divorcing couple can deviate from a 50/50 split if they so choose, so long as the property division is reasonable and fair.
Do you have further questions about California’s divorce laws? If so, contact our office to schedule a consultation with a San Diego divorce attorney!