In some states, you need to prove a reason why you are divorcing from your spouse. You can show that your spouse was unfaithful, or that he or she is abusive. You can also prove that your spouse is not good with the children, is an alcoholic or drug addict, or has no interest in the family. In California, no accusations and finger-pointing is necessary. Instead, most divorces are based on the grounds that the parties have irreconcilable differences that they have been unable to work through in their marriage. The California courts don't require either spouse to prove infidelity or another "marriage-breaking" action.
Still, some spouses may want to prove that a husband or wife was at-fault in order to determine alimony or settle property issues. For example, if a husband cheated on his wife, the court may decide to skew the property division in the wife's favor. This will only work in some courthouses, and should not become a main point of contention in the court case. It is more a matter of emotional and sympathetic action than an actual legal discussion that will determine who gets what in a divorce case. In fact, the California law states that courts cannot punish a party who has an affair.
Because of "no-fault" divorce, there are no built-in advantages to being the first to file for divorce in California. If you and your spouse are both in agreement that a divorce is necessary, than either of you can file and you will receive the same benefits as if you had been the second to file the petition. The person who files first will be called the petitioner during the case, and the other spouse will be known as the respondent. In "no-fault" divorce states, it is difficult for the responding spouse to stop the divorce process. For example, if you don't approve of the divorce and want to stop it, it may be difficult for you to do so. Talk to a Mission Viejo divorce attorney today if you want more information about "no-fault" divorces and how they affect your case!