Divorce is the legal process of ending a marriage. While there may be many associated legal matters to resolve in conjunction with a divorce, such as child support and custody, property division, and spousal support, individuals who wish to divorce must demonstrate that they meet the requirements for engaging with the process. One of those requirements is having a valid reason for ending their marriage.

The bases on which individuals can end their marriages are called grounds for divorce. In California there are two recognized grounds – incurable insanity and irreconcilable differences. Incurable insanity is self-explanatory. If a person suffers from an irremediable mental ailment, their spouse may have the option of ending their legal union.

Irreconcilable differences may be more difficult to demonstrate. Generally, a person must be able to show that they can no longer get along with their spouse and that there is nothing they can do to fix the problems in their relationship. Irreconcilable differences indicate that a marriage is broken, that there is nothing that can be done to fix it, and that ending it is a reasonable step for the parties involved.

Many different factors can complicate the divorce process, even when both of the parties to the marriage want to dissolve their union. As all divorces proceed on their own facts and circumstances it is not advised for individuals to make assumptions about their own legal experiences based on the outcomes that others attained. Legal counsel from divorce and family law attorneys can prepare men and women for the issues they may face when they decide that they are ready to file for divorce.