When folks call me, the conversation usually tends to go in the direction of what happened to cause the current marital issues that are going on.
In some cases, this conversation leads to me being asked if there is any point in bringing up what the other party did to cause the marriage to end.
For instance, where one spouse cheats on the other. Does the non-cheating spouse have any upper hand during the divorce?
To answer that questions, we turn to the phrase called, “No Fault Divorce.”
California is a no fault divorce State and as the name suggests, no fault divorce permits the termination of a marriage without the finding that either party has violated one of the rules that are the grounds for a fault-based divorce.
So in essence, not only do you not have to have a reason to get divorce, but if someone could technically be blamed for the marriage ending, the California Courts are not interested in hearing it nor is any position gained or lost for either spouse.
Typically, states require only that the marriage be demonstrated to have been broken down irremediably. Put another way, that the spouses are no longer compatible and that irreconcilable differences exists.
Thus, when it comes to filing for divorce, it does not matter who is the Petitioner and who is the Respondent. It does not matter who files for divorce. It could be the one who caused the breakup or the one who feels they were not at fault. The court only uses the terms to distinguish between the spouses.
This is probably why they use the words Petitioner instead of Plaintiff and Respondent instead of Defendant.
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