What Grounds for Divorce in California (2024 Updated)

Possible legal grounds for divorce in CA
Last Updated on April 2024

The grounds for divorce in California are:

  1. Irreconcilable differences which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage or;
  2. Incurable insanity, according to California Family Code Section 2310.

California is among the so-called “no-fault” states, meaning that in order to get divorced, you don’t need to prove your spouse’s wrongdoings. Among the two reasons for divorce in California, irreconcilable differences is the most commonly used one, while incurable insanity is rare and requires proof from medical professionals.

Irreconcilable Differences

Irreconcilable differences that lead to the irremediable breakdown of a marriage is a situation when the couple no longer finds it possible to be married and stay together due to incompatibility or any other reasons. The court will not ask spouses about any additional reasons that led to the breakdown and is not going to determine the wrongdoings of either side.

Fault-based reasons, such as infidelity, will not be considered by the court during property or assets division, child custody determination, or child support/alimony calculation. However, if your spouse is violent and abusive, it will play a significant role in the custody arrangements. In such cases, it is best to work with a lawyer to determine the best course of action.

Incurable Insanity

One of the uncommon reasons for divorce in the state of California is the incurable insanity of one of the parties. In general, it is more difficult to obtain a marriage dissolution based on this ground because you need to provide official documents proving the mental incapacity of the second party.

According to California divorce law, it should also be shown that your husband or wife was incapacitated during the time your divorce was filed, there are no positive changes in their state, and there won’t be any in the nearest future. The latter must be officially confirmed by a medical worker in the court. Besides, the filing party will still be responsible for the future care and support of their spouse.