Ask a California Private Investigator: What's a No Fault Divorce State?

As recently as 50 years ago, a divorce had to be granted through a family law court, or other court of law, on the basis that one or the other parties in the marriage had violated the terms of the marital contract. This meant a husband or wife could seek a divorce and be denied by the courts. Even cases where women were abused, or men found their wives were having affairs, the legal hearings could result in the court's denial of the divorce petition. This would not happen in a no fault divorce state. Not surprisingly, California was the first state to adopt No-Fault Divorces, back in 1970. The law was signed and enacted by then Governor, Ronald Regan.

While all 50 United States now allow No-fault divorce proceedings, many states require that couples live apart and/or become legally separated for a specific length of time before they can move forward with their divorce proceedings. Either way, the individual filing for the divorce must site a specific reason, included in the individual states' legal reasons for divorce. The most common of these reasons is:

  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Incompatibility
  • Irremediable breakdown of the marriage

To check on the requirements for a no-fault divorce in your state, Click Here. Just because the divorce is No-fault, doesn't mean you shouldn't gather evidence if you are concerned about your well-being, feel it will be difficult to obtain the alimony or child support you are entitled to, or you're worried about child custody issues.

California Private Investigator's Tips Before Getting a No-fault Divorce

Even in the case of of a no-fault divorce, your spouse's behavior can be directly linked to the outcome of your divorce settlement. In other words, unethical or dishonest behavior doesn't let him or her completely off the hook. For example:

Is your spouse cheating on you? If your spouse is cheating on you, and has used money to finance the affair, half of that money is technically yours, and can be awarded back to you via the settlement. Are you concerned that the person they are having an affair with will be exposed to your children? You can ensure that there are certain restrictions put on who is allowed to be around your children when they are in your ex's custody; this includes restricting over night visits. If your partner is violating the custody agreement, surveillance services can be used to prove it, and renegotiate the child custody agreement.

What's your financial status? There are very few couples who actually control the finances together, and in a completely transparent manner. In many cases, one or the other individuals handles the finances. If you are left in the dark, or feel your partner isn't 100% honest about your finances, a California private investigator can perform an asset search to determine how to move forward. An asset search may reveal bank accounts, property loans, investments, etc. of which you are unaware. Our asset searches have often revealed that a home has been completely refinanced, without the other spouse's awareness. Make sure you know exactly where you stand before you move forward with divorce proceedings.

Who's spending time with your kids? Are you concerned about the health and safety of your children when they are with your ex? Not liking people is one thing, but knowing or feeling like there is something sinister lurking in their past is another. A previous criminal record, a place on the sex offender registry, or a current substance abuse problem are all grounds for limiting custodial visits with your ex, or the people he or she associates with. Use a California private investigator to run a complete background check, and/or use surveillance services, to protect the safety of your children. Well-documented evidence, included in a private investigator's report, will make it much easier for you to gain the court's favor.

Is your spouse truly unemployed? The most common way to avoid paying alimony is to claim unemployment or a low salary. If your spouse is trying to shirk his or her financial duty, a California private investigator can use surveillance services, providing photo and video evidence that your spouse goes to work on a regular basis. It doesn't take very many surveillance sessions to show a steady and consistent employment schedule. This documentation will help to prove your case, and can increase your child support and/or alimony.

Hire a California Family Law Investigator to Gather Information Before Your Divorce

We recommend that clients hire a licensed private investigator to gather evidence before hiring a divorce attorney. This can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in legal fees, especially in a no fault divorce state. When you arrive to meet with your lawyer, armed with the information we have collected for you, your family law attorney will be able to jump right in and expedite your proceedings.

Mike Garroutte, owner of Linked Investigations is a licensed California private Investigator who works predominantly in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. His investigative services have provided the information and evidence clients need to make educated decisions about their futures. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. 877-464-5374

Published on: 
August 1, 2013
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