What Are the Divorce Laws in California?


Quick Answer

Divorce laws in California stipulate that a spouse or partner can end the marriage even if the significant other does not want a divorce, according to the Judicial Council of California. A spouse or partner cannot stop the divorce process by refusing to participate under the no fault divorce laws in California.

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Full Answer

The no fault divorce laws stipulate that a spouse or domestic partner does not have to prove wrongdoing to obtain a divorce, and as a result, a default judgment is entered to process the divorce, often deemed as irreconcilable differences, explains the Judicial Council of California. California recognizes three legal ways to end a marriage or domestic partnership registered in California. These include a divorce, legal separation or annulment. Only one spouse or partner is required to file divorce papers with the county of residence.

To process a divorce under California law, one spouse or domestic partner must complete forms for divorce at the local courthouse and file the court forms with a court clerk, notes the Judicial Council of California. A filing fee must be paid by the individual petitioning for divorce; however, California divorce laws stipulate that a fee waiver may be offered to individuals who cannot afford the fee. A preliminary declaration of disclosure must occur before the divorce is granted, which includes both parties exchanging financial documents.

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