To obtain a divorce in California, it is not necessary for both spouses to agree to end the marriage. Either spouse can decide to end the marriage, and the other spouse, even if he or she does not want to get a divorce, cannot stop the process by refusing to participate in the case.
If a spouse does not participate in the divorce case, the other spouse will still be able to get a “default” judgment and the divorce will go through.
California is a “no fault” divorce state, which means that the spouse that is asking for the divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong. To get a no fault divorce, a spouse has to state that the couple cannot get along. Legally, this is called “irreconcilable differences.”
After you decide you want to end your marriage, you need to plan your case ahead of time. Think about how you are going to handle your case. Planning before you start and talking to a mediator or attorney at Family Law Center can save you time and money as you go through the court process.
Keep in mind that, normally, it does not matter who is the first to file the divorce or separation case. The court does not give any preference to the first person to file or a disadvantage to the person who responds to the case.