Legal termination of marriage, in California, happens in one of three ways.
(1) Marital Dissolution; (2) Nullity; or (3) Legal Separation.
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 nullity is pursued because the petitioner (one who files the action) believes that no valid marriage ever existed and their seeking to prove this theory. A marital dissolution, rather, merely terminates an otherwise valid marriage.
In effect, a nullity seeks to prove a the theory that the marriage was never valid from inception. The court is tasked with reaching a decision and the petitioner has the burden of proof.
So is your marriage valid? A marriage may be invalid from the beginning because of irregularities in the statutory formalization procedures, which are ordinarily obtaining the license, solemnization and authentication. However, it also may be void or voidable because of other legal imperfections including but not limited to incest, bigamy, inducement by fraud or force, or where a party or both parties are under the age of consent at the time of the marriage.
Assuming a nullity is a option, be aware that there are some disadvantages. As the petitioner you have the burden of proof. This can be costly and time consuming. In a typical marital dissolution the proceedings are no fault. However, in a nullity proceeding, fault and issues of innocence are essential and must be proved with evidence.
Parties to an invalid marriage do not have community property rights. But property acquired during the void or voidable marriage, which would have been community property but for the impediment to a valid marriage, may be deemed quasi-marital property and divided in a nullity proceeding as if it were community property. This only happens where ?putative spouse? status is established (this spouse has a good faith belief that the marriage is 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!
Author: Jon D. Alexander, Esq.This author has published 5 articles so far.