Skip to Content
The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague
Call Us Today! 714-888-4830

What is a No Fault Divorce?


In California, spouses can file for "no-fault divorces" when they intend to dissolve their marriage. A no fault divorce basically means that the spouse asking for the divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong. Back in the day, divorces were only granted if the spouse had a reason to file the divorce.

Some of the reasons for at-fault divorces include:

  • Adultery
  • Imprisonment
  • Abandonment
  • Domestic violence / abuse
  • Separation for several years

Irreconcilable Differences and Divorce

Now, Californians don't have to prove that their spouse did anything wrong. In fact, all divorces in California are dealt with as "no fault" divorces, regardless of the reason for the separation. Spouses can simply cite that they are divorcing due to "irreconcilable differences." Essentially, if you can prove that you and your spouse cannot get along because of differences in your personality or preferences, this is enough to evidence a divorce.

Filing a No-Fault Divorce

In California, both spouses do not have to agree on the divorce. Instead, one spouse simply has to file. The other spouse can try to delay a divorce through legal maneuvering, but oftentimes the petitioning spouse will win out in the end. The spouse who files for a divorce is always referred to as the "petitioner" in divorce circumstances and the spouse who responds to the filing is referred to as the "respondent." There is no legal advantage to being the first to file, though there may be some strategic advantages.

If you are considering a divorce, don't hesitate to call an Orange County divorce lawyer at our firm for assistance. The team at The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague has more than 30 years of experience and they are solely devoted to family law! Call today for more information!

Share To: