Divorce, Legal Separation, or Annulment
Law Offices of Keith Banks offers legal assistance to residents of Yolo, Sacramento, Solano and Placer counties seeking a divorce, a legal separation, or an annulment (marital nullification or nullity).
California law provides for three ways to terminate your marriage: Divorce, Legal Separation, or Marital Nullification.
Labeled “Dissolution of Marriage” under California law, this is the standard legal approach to ending a marriage. Upon completion of a divorce proceeding, each party will be considered single under the law and free to remarry at their discretion.
When filing for a divorce, or responding to a petition for divorce, it is important to remember that California is a “No Fault” state. This means that either party may file for a divorce for any reason, known as “irreconcilable differences”, and seek a dissolution of marriage.
During a divorce proceeding, the parties or the court will, if applicable, divide the assets of the marriage, set child custody and visitation, and order support.
Sometimes parties are reluctant to pursue a divorce for personal or religious reasons. For example, one of the more common wishes we hear from clients seeking a legal separation instead of a divorce is because one spouse wishes to keep the other on their medical insurance. Other times parties cannot satisfy the statutory residency requirements and cannot file for divorce. For these couples, legal separation might be the answer.
Legal separation almost mirrors a divorce proceeding but that the parties are not considered ‘single’ at the end of the proceeding and cannot remarry.
Known also as “marital nullification” or “nullity”, an annulment is the argument that a marriage should never have occurred. A Judgment of Nullity may be obtained for any of the following reasons:
Force (unless the forced party freely cohabitates with the other spouse as husband or wife after the marriage);
Inability to consummate the marriage due to an incurable incapacity;
Lack of informed consent to the marriage;
Mistaken belief of death (the spouse of a prior marriage was believed dead at the time of the subsequent marriage but was actually not);
It is important to realize that neither the passage of time nor children immediately precludes one party from seeking an annulment. However, there are certain instances that can prevent you from asking for an annulment. That said, during a successful annulment petition, you may be able to obtain both spousal and child support and potentially receive a portion of property.