General Information about Divorce, Dissolution of Marriage, Legal separation, and Annulment in California.

Los Angeles Family Law Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

Going through a divorce is arguably one of the worst things you’ll have to go through in your life. Emotionally, going through a divorce is analogous to go into a death in the family. The proper term for a divorce in the state of California is “dissolution of marriage.”

The difference between a divorce and legal separation, is that in a divorce, formal dissolution of marriage paperwork has been filed with the court to terminate the marriage, whereas a legal separation can occur either by filing papers for legal separation with the court, or by one of the parties in a marriage deciding to separate with the intent to permanently end the marriage. It should be noted that a legal separation can occur even if the parties still live together.

The difference between a divorce and an annulment is that in the case of an annulment, the marriage is void, voidable, or not legal from its inception. In most cases it’s much more difficult to obtain an annulment, then a divorce.

A divorce involves the legal termination of a marriage by court order. A divorce is not final in California until a court of competent jurisdiction issues an order stating that the marriage has been terminated.

In California, there are two types of dissolution of marriage proceedings are available; (1) Summary dissolution of marriage, and (2) Standard dissolution of marriage. Most marriages will not qualify for the summary dissolution of marriage procedure that is available in California.

Marriages can be contested proceedings, uncontested, or by way of a default judgment when one of the parties cannot be located, or refuses to participate in the proceeding.

California is one of the so-called “no-fault” divorce states. The most common ground for requesting a divorce in the state of California is irreconcilable differences. A party can also request a divorce on the grounds of death, or insanity.

The most common issues involved in a divorce case in the state a California are: dissolution of marriage, child custody, child visitation, child support, alimony which is actually known as spousal support in California, family support, the division of community property, determination of separate property, the division and/or allocation of community businesses, and the division and/or allocation of retirement plans.

Due to the complex nature of family law litigation in the state of California, we highly recommend retaining an attorney to represent you. Our law firm can represent you in your divorce proceeding, and all the issues related thereto. Our law firm can also provide limited representation for you with respect to certain issues related to your family Law case. We can even do document preparation for you if you decide not to retain an attorney. You may check out our family law website by clicking here now, or you may call us now for a free consultation at 818-584-8831 extension 1.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. © 2006

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