What are the legal grounds for divorce?

In California, all divorces are “no fault” divorces. In other words, neither side has to prove that the other did something wrong.

The grounds for divorce in California are straightforward:

Irreconcilable differences – it simply means that the parties just could not get along.
Permanent legal incapacity to make decisions – this is used rarely as legal grounds for a divorce. A marriage may be dissolved on the grounds of permanent legal incapacity to make decisions only upon proof, including competent medical or psychiatric testimony, that the spouse was at the time the petition was filed, and remains, permanently lacking the legal capacity to make decisions.

NOTE: There is no such thing as to a defense that stops the divorce. If one spouse wants a divorce he or she will get it.

What are the residency requirements for filing for divorce?

One of the spouses must have lived in California for six months prior to the filing, and in the county – for at least three months.

If neither spouse meets these requirements, one can file for legal separation and amend that filing into a divorce proceeding once the residency requirements have been met.

How long does the divorce process take?

It depends. The least amount of time that a divorce action can take is six months. But that is hardly ever the case. If there are children involved, a home, a pension plan, and other assets, the process will likely take longer. A recent study indicates that a contested divorce can take between 28 and 36 months.