california family law act

What Is the Family Law Act in California?

The Family Law Act of California significantly changed the state’s divorce laws. The purpose of the Act was to address issues with current divorce practices in California as well as the United States, specifically concerns about the growing number of children impacted by divorce and the inability of the courts to deal with the increasing amount of divorce cases. However, there is much more to the Family Law Act and the changes it brought, and in the guide below, we have provided a comprehensive breakdown of how this Act works and the impact it had on obtaining a divorce in California. 

The California’s Family Law Act of 1969

The Family Law Act of 1969 became effective on January 1, 1970, and helped California adopt no-fault divorce by abolishing the state’s action for divorce and replacing it with proceedings for dissolution of marriage on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. The objective of this law was to stop the prolonged legal battles and prevent hostilities that generally ensued when a spouse tried to prove the other committed some wrongdoing. 

In addition, before the Family Law Act of 1969, the process of obtaining a divorce was much more challenging. The old divorce laws required proof of fault before a divorce could be granted, meaning that if you wanted to file for divorce due to your spouse’s infidelity, you would have to prove that it happened and present evidence of their affair. Your spouse would also have the opportunity to contest the divorce filing, which could create significant obstacles for the person trying to end their marriage. However, with the introduction of the Family Law Act, no evidence is necessary to obtain a divorce, and your spouse cannot prevent the divorce by challenging the grounds for divorce.

What Is No-Fault Divorce?

In the past, couples seeking to end their marriage had to provide a valid reason for doing so, which was known as the “grounds for divorce.” This all changed when the California Family Law Act introduced “no-fault” grounds for divorce, making California the first state to do so. Today, every state in the United States allows no-fault divorce, although the requirements for getting a divorce can vary from state to state. 

Despite the widespread acceptance of no-fault divorce, some people may still not fully understand its concept. No-fault divorce is a type of divorce that allows one spouse to file for divorce without having to blame the other or indicate that the divorce was either spouse’s fault. The specific terminology used may differ depending on the state, but to obtain a no-fault divorce, the filing spouse only needs to indicate that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, that there are irreconcilable differences, or that the couple is incompatible. 

Contact Herrera Clifton Hess Today To Learn More

At Herrera Clifton Hess, our experienced family law attorneys have a reputation for providing quality family legal representation and fighting tirelessly for our clients. Our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your loved ones while fighting by your side through the whole legal process. 

If you have questions about obtaining a divorce in California or want further information regarding the process, contact Herrera Clifton Hess today and speak with a member of the legal team.