California  is a "no-fault" divorce state. No-fault means that neither spouse is the reason for the divorce. One or both parties can instead simply state that they have "irreconcilable differences" when filing for dissolution of their marriage (divorce).

So, what are the legal requirements for a divorce in California?

The laws governing divorce in California begin with Family Code section 2300. You can read more online at the California Judicial Branch website.

Grounds for Divorce

Having legal "grounds" for a divorce means there must be a legal basis to grant the divorce. There are two grounds for divorce in the state of California: incurable insanity or irreconcilable differences. When the spouses just can't get along and there is no chance of them coming to a resolution on their issues, they have irreconcilable differences.

the Waiting Period

A divorce decree cannot be finalized until six months after the divorce paperwork is provided to the respondent or their first court appearance, whichever comes first. If the judge believes reconciliation is possible, he or she may halt the proceedings for up to thirty days.

The Residency RequiremenT

Either the spouse filing for divorce (the petitioner) or the respondent (the spouse responding) must have been a resident in California for no less than six months and in the county where the divorce papwork is filed for no less than three months. Spouses that do not meet the residency requirement may file for legal separation and then amend the paperwork after reaching the residency requriement. 

The Divorce & Child Custody
   Mediation & Family Law Team
   Rogers Sheffield & Campbell, LLP

This article is not intended to provide legal advice. For legal advice on any of the information in this post, please use the form to the right or contact us by phone at 805-963-9721.

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