What Does "No Fault" Mean?

In divorce, some states are "fault" states while others are "no fault." The easiest explanation of this is that in "no-fault" states, of which California is one, outside events and situations such as marital infidelity do not affect the way the courts look at divorce settlements.

Essentially, "no fault" describes that fault is not placed on either party for outside "influences" that may have caused the divorce. Either party can do various noninjurious things and it cannot be made part of the divorce records.

Domestic Violence Is Considered By California Courts

However, you should be aware that domestic violence constitutes a "fault" in California with significant consequences. These consequences include a presumption the perpetrator of domestic violence should not have primary custody of children.

Domestic violence is also a consideration for the court when calculating spousal support. The perpetrator could be ordered to pay more support to the victim of domestic violence.

This discussion of "no fault" does not address actions by one party that hurt the finances of the other or the community. A party can be at fault for stealing or wasting community money. In this discussion we are addressing acts like affairs that lead to the breakdown of a marriage; acts that carry significant emotional weight in a divorce case.

Steady Legal Guidance For Emotional Times

At Ratzer Family Law, we counsel our clients to control their emotions in their case. Unchecked emotions cause litigants to take unreasonable positions in their case.

Because California is a "no-fault" divorce state, the judge hearing your case will not appreciate positions predicated on what the other party/parent "did" to cause the divorce. Most judges in San Diego County are handling 5,000+ active cases and another 10,000+ inactive cases. They are busy trying to manage the real issues in a case and do not have time to hear about the affair that caused the breakdown of a marriage.

Call us at 858-925-8099 or contact us online to schedule an appointment to discuss how "fault" might impact your divorce.