What does “no fault” divorce in California mean?

In California, a party requesting a divorce does not have to prove “fault” or material misconduct by their spouse in order for the Court to grant the divorce. In the past, a party was required to prove his or her spouse committed adultery, cruelty or another “wrongful” act. Historically, the spouse at “fault” was penalized and received a lesser portion of the marital assets or less timeshare with the parties’ children. In California, the Petitioner must simply state that “irreconcilable differences” has arisen between the parties to request a divorce. By not focusing on who is to blame, the parties’ financial and emotional resources may be utilized to address the legal issues at hand.