A putative marriage is one where the couple intended to enter into a valid marriage, but for one reason or another, the marriage is legally void in fact. There may have been a legal barrier to marriage, such as one of the parties was already married to someone else, or unbeknownst to the couple, the official who performed the marriage ceremony was not legally authorized to do so. Sections 2250 – 2255 of the California Family Code explains a putative spouse’s rights when the couple breaks up. Rather than a petition for divorce, one or both parties must file a petition entitled “In re the marriage of ____ and ____” and the petition must state that it is a petition for a judgment of nullity of the marriage. Once the marriage is found void or voidable, then the Court may proceed to divide property, award spousal support, and award custody of the children in a manner substantially similar to standard divorce proceedings as though the couple were legally married. At the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger, we will persistently pursue the best outcome possible for you in your divorce or quasi-divorce proceedings, whether you need to demonstrate the other spouse’s faults, or defend such claims. 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 a spouse 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.