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What does it mean that CA is a "no fault" divorce state?

Marriages can last years, months or even weeks. Sometimes, what seems like the easiest decision in the world becomes the hardest one to make. People change, things change and sometimes, a marriage does not survive. If one is thinking about divorce, it is a good ideato know that California is a no-fault divorce state.

What this means is that when a married person goes to file for divorce, they do not have to put any blame on either party over the other. Instead, it is more of a general term filled out in the paperwork called irreconcilable differences or sometimes an irreparable breakdown of the marriage. Other states will force a person to put a more specific reason on public record when filing for divorce, oftentimes these point fingers or assign blame to a person in a marriage. Filing for divorce citing irreconcilable differences just means that the marriage did not work, it wasn't any one party over the other that prompted the divorce.

Even though California is a no-fault divorce state, the behaviors or actions of a spouse could still come back to affect them during the asset division and child custody portion of the divorce. This is because these decisions are often based on a fair and equitable division of assets, and if one spouse was unfair or acted in a less than flattering way, it could affect the outcome of these proceedings. Especially with child custody, if it is found that it is not in a child's best interests to be in the custody of an irresponsible parent, the court will often make a decision based on that.

If possible, it is a good idea to come into any divorce proceeding with the intent to be an active listener and with a prepared plan for what's important. If one is focused on a certain asset or outcome, it is good to think about what you might give up to achieve it. If one wants full custody, why is this the best option for their child? A good strategy can be the difference between achieving a favorable outcome in a divorce proceeding.

Source: StateLaws.FindLaw.com, "California Divorce Laws," accessed on Oct. 9, 2017

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