Facing a Divorce, Separation, or Annulment in California

Breaking up in California
Breaking up in California
At its core, a marriage is a contract.  Like other contracts, when one party fails to live up to the agreed terms, the contract can be considered broken and the other party may want out.  To be released from the marital contract, you will likely need to pursue one of three actions: divorce, legal separation, or annulment. As we’ve discussed before, California is a “no-fault” state.  To support a petition for divorce, you need only allege irreconcilable differences.  If you’ve properly reached agreements regarding child custody and property divisions, you may meet the criteria for a summary dissolution, the quickest of all divorces in California. The fact that divorce is common does not make it any easier to face. Going through a divorce can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life and should not be taken lightly.  The terms of a divorce can stay with you the rest of your life, affecting your financial stability, existing family relationships, and future family relationships. While divorce is by far the most commonly used method of ending a marriage, it is not the only option.  Some couples have reasons to seek a legal separation rather than a divorce.  Some reasons a couple may choose a legal separation include:
  • Wanting to live apart and get orders from the court about money, property, and parenting issues.
  • Avoiding a divorce for religious reasons.
  • Avoiding a divorce because of other personal beliefs.
  • The couple does not meet the residency requirements to file for divorce in California, and they do not want to wait to put distance between themselves.
  • Avoiding a divorce because of financial reasons such as health insurance and spousal benefits.
A legal separation is not the same thing as a divorce, and a person who is legal separated cannot get remarried.  He or she is still legally married. The third method of dissolving the marital contract is an annulment. Once annulled, in the eyes of the law, your marriage never occurred.  An annulment can be granted due to a circumstance at the time of the marriage that rendered the marriage void as though it never happened. These are the basics, but here are many more factors to consider when deciding how to best go your separate ways. At the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger, we will discuss your situation and help you choose the best course of action to meet your goals. Judy L. Burger is known for her aggressive representation of clients in high conflict cases in and around the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento areas.  If you are facing divorce, call us today to learn more about how we can help.  Call (415)293-8314 in the San Francisco Bay area or (916)631-1935 in the Sacramento area, or contact us online via our confidential inquiry form.