If you found yourself in the situation where you want a divorce but your
spouse has said something to the effect of, “I’ll never give
you a divorce” then you may feel as if you have no choice but to
stay in an unhappy marriage.
The truth of the matter is that it’s not up to your spouse to “grant” you a
divorce, because that is just not how it works. In California, the courts do not
require that both spouses want to end a marriage to grant a divorce. All
that matters is that one spouse wants out.
This means that either you or your spouse can file for divorce, even if
the other spouse does not want a divorce. If your spouse says that they
do not want a divorce, or that they refuse to give you a divorce, please
know that these are “idle” threats.
If you want a divorce, your spouse cannot stop you. They can’t stop
you by refusing to participate in the case either. In fact, if your spouse
does absolutely nothing, and refuses to respond to the divorce complaint
after being served, you can still get a “default” judgement
and your divorce will be pushed through the courts.
Do I have to prove fault? Do I have to show that my spouse cheated on me
or abused me to get a default judgement? No, you do not. California is
a no-fault divorce state, therefore, you do not need to show that your
spouse’s behavior led to the divorce. Or, that your spouse did something wrong.
All that matters is that you want a divorce. To get a no-fault divorce
in California, you simply cite “irreconcilable differences”
on the divorce paperwork.
Proper Divorce Planning is Key
If you are certain that you want to end your marriage, know that proper
divorce planning is critical. How are you going to handle things? Do you
have children, and are you financially independent?
Talking to a divorce attorney, even before you tell your spouse can save
you a lot of time and money as you go through the motions.
Please note that the courts do not give preference to the first person
who files for divorce, however, there are definite advantages to being
the person to file first. For one, you’re thinking strategically
and not “reacting” to your spouse’s filing.
Need a Los Angeles divorce attorney?
Contact us for a free consultation!