Can You Get An Annulment Instead of a Traditional Divorce?

by Jon D. Alexander, Esq.

In Orange County, California, you may terminate your marriage using three legal remedies.

(1) Legal Separation; (2) Marital Dissolution; or (3) Nullity.

Nullity may or may not be an option. It depends on whether the validity of the marriage is in doubt. This is the primary difference between marital dissolution and nullity.

A marital dissolution action is used to terminate an otherwise valid marriage on grounds that arise after marriage. On the other hand, a nullity is pursued because the petitioner (the filing party) believes that at the time of the marriage, no valid marriage ever occurred.

That is, a nullity action asks a question? Was this marriage a valid marriage from the inception? A court must inquire as to whether the marriage was valid from day one.

Is your marriage a valid one or is there some doubt? Were all of your formalization procedures (like obtaining the license, solemnization, and authentication) performed correctly? If not, these could be potential grounds for nullity. However, a marriage may be void or voidable for other reasons including incest, bigamy, inducement by fraud or force, or where one or both parties were minors at the time of the marriage.

Supposing nullity is a viable option remember that there are disadvantages of a nullity proceeding, including but not limited to the following. You must proving grounds for a judgment of nullity. This is likely to be difficult and costly to prove. There are also potential statutes of limitations hurdles. And, fault play no role in a marriage dissolution proceeding. In a nullity proceeding, however, issues of innocence or fault are essential issues that relate to questions of support and an attorney fees and costs award, as well as determining property rights.

Parties to an invalid marriage do not have community property rights. Rather, the property acquired during void or voidable marriage that would have otherwise been community property is deemed quasi-community property. And it divided up in much the same way as community property. But, and this is an important but. Property is deemed Quasi-community property only when Putative Spouse status is proved. This means that the spouse asserting that the property be deemed Quasi-Community Property must prove that he/she was innocent and that he/she had a good faith belief that the marriage was valid.

Nullity actions do clearly have disadvantages but there are many benefits as well. Will you please visit my site linked below to read about the benefits. And will you also please schedule a free, confidential consultation while you’re there. Thank you visit my site now!

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