In the eyes of the law, it takes two to agree to a marriage but only one to force a divorce. Or does it?
Under the California Family Code, the spouse asking for the divorce need only cite “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for divorce for it to be granted by the court. However, the other spouse (or the same spouse) can tell the court that there is a “reasonable possibility of reconciliation” and the court may delay granting a divorce for 30 days.
California gives parties that one last opportunity to save their marriage because the public policy is that marriages are good and divorces are bad. How is this helpful to a marriage on the rocks? Prior to a final judgment for divorce, there are many issues that remain “restrained.” One example is that neither spouse can get remarried. Another is that health insurance cannot be cancelled. So that one extra month can be an issue that ruins a future wedding date or covers that last checkup planned. Or that extra month will give the spouses a last chance to work things out.
However, the problem is proving what is “reasonable.” The courts do not have a bright line test for such a showing. Clearly if the spouses move back in together and hold themselves out as married, then a reasonable possibility exists. Then again, both spouses scheduled to marry new people is proof that no possibility exists. The problem is the cases in between.
The free advice of the day? If you have any hope of reconciliation, start dating your spouse again. Take pictures, keep receipts, and tell everybody how you are back in love with your spouse. It may not stop your divorce but it does seem like a reasonable possibility that you will reconcile at some point.
If you have any questions on divorce or reconciliation, feel free to contact Sagaria Law to schedule a consultation with our attorneys who focus in family law.