Does Fault Matter During Divorce In California
When it comes to divorce, California is a no-fault state, which means the courts don’t care whose fault it is or why you are getting a divorce in California. So in this video we talk about whether fault matters in divorce in California because some interesting topics come up such as, if your spouse is the reason for the divorce ( say they cheated, etc.) do you still have to pay them spousal support? Watch this video for more information about our no fault State of California.
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Today, we’re talking about here in California Divorce cases it doesn’t matter whose fault it is when you get Divorce knowing that California is a No Fault State.
So I just want to break that down a little bit. And then tell you about some of the things that we’ve seen with some of our clients.
And you can decide if what’s fair or if you’ll agree with how the law works. So in California it is a No Fault State. The honest truth is the courts do not care why you’re getting a Divorce.
They don’t ask. No one will ask you. No one will care.
The only ones that cares, is you, and perhaps your family and your spouse. No one cares why you’re getting Divorce meaning the reasons behind it.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your fault or your spouse’s fault or a combination. It doesn’t matter when you file for Divorce in California.
There’s a single box that you mark. And the box you’re going to mark is irreconcilable differences. That’s all the court asks you to provide as far as information regarding why you want to get a Divorce.
Now some will think that the laws are not fair when it comes to dividing property if someone is at fault. I’m not saying that it isn’t always one persons fault.
Usually you can attribute the Divorce to probably one of you. If not both but probably one of you can point the finger at each other as far as the reasons for Divorce.
And therefore there could be some upset when someone asks for a Divorce when perhaps you thought everything was fine up to that point.
And I want to give you an example as it pertains to dividing up your property.
So I had clients who came in and we worked with amicable cases for the most part.
And we’re dealing with both couples and sitting down at my desk here. And we’re kind of rushing out the property and how things are going to be divided up.
And in this particular case the wife was the one that asked for the Divorce.
And honestly she said, “I didn’t have—there’s no real reason I’m filing for Divorce other than I just want a Divorce. And move on with my life. And start a new chapter.”
Probably she had fallen out of love, I would imagine, maybe she found someone else who she wants to live her life with or what have you and this was a long term marriage.
So the couple as far as their property is concerned they had built up considerable decent amount of wealth. They had a home that was paid off.
They had several assets 401K’s and they were in good shape. Had they continued on their marriage, they would have been in great shape for retirement.
So what happened in going through Divorce is they had to divide their property.
And this could become a nightmare as far as where you–how you were set up financially dividing everything 50-50 which is what they ended up doing.
He had to take out a mortgage on the house to cash her out on that property. They had to split all of their 401K’s down the middle.
And that could be devastating. He was devastated that he said, “Look Tim we’ve built up this family. We are in good shape for retirement.”
And he asked too. “I really have to get half? She’s the one causing the Divorce. She’s the one that’s asking for Divorce. Why do I have to split all my assets with her?”
Unfortunately, that’s just the law and it is sad. I mean they’ve been married I think 20, 25 years maybe getting ready or at least talking about retirement.
They’re in great shape financially. And at the end of the day they went through the case together.
And he said, “Well, there’s really nothing I can do about it.” which is true and so they decided not to fight it out just put their assets.
And I just want to comment on this because it’s not –you put it in some of the bad or worst financial, well they were in good financial shape.
So I would say that put them in a lesser good financial shape, if I could put it in those words because where they were financially with their assets and paid off a home was in a great position.
Now with the Divorce they’re going to have half of what they had together. And now there’s mortgage involved because they had cash out the house and all that.
So unfortunately, the point of the story was when you’re going through a Divorce it doesn’t matter whose fault it is.
It doesn’t mean if one spouse is responsible if you can point the finger at being the reason for the Divorce, they don’t get any –it doesn’t mean you get to keep the property or anything like that.
It doesn’t matter what the reason or who’s the cause of the Divorce. And this also goes for spousal support. That’s through another scenario actually.
Let’s say that one spouse is working the entire relationship. And the spouse, let’s just say in this case the wife, not to be sexist or anything but just to so we can determine who the parties are here.
So the man worked has worked for 20 to 30 years and continues to work while the wife stays at home mom, took care of the kids and so forth.
And now they’re divorcing. Well guess what? There’s going to be spousal support that needs to be paid in most cases.
And even if it is the wife’s fault for Divorce maybe she just decided to move on like the previous scenario then, guess what? She’s going to get spousal support.
And it’s going to – there are two different tough processes from the wife she feels as ‘well I was the one who allowed you to work and helped you through your career. And that’s why you have the job and career that you have.’
The other perspective is the man where he says and I say this because I talked to people everyday about their Divorce. That’s why I’m sharing these stories with you.
The man says ‘Well if I work my entire career and she just sat home and took care of the kids. And I was the one who made all the income and now after providing for my wife all these years 20, 30 years I still have to pay her money?’
And so you can see it’s just an interesting different perspective on how and what goes through the minds of each of the spouses when it comes to property and spousal support when going through a Divorce in California.
My name is Tim Blankenship with Divorce661.com. Thank you for watching our YouTube channel. We do specialize in California Divorce.
You can also listen to us on our demand radio show on Divorcemasterradio.com it’ll take you right to our newest episode of our podcast. We do have a daily five day a week podcast.
Thanks for tuning in and we’ll talk to you soon.