Divorce is a challenging and emotionally charged period for everyone involved, especially families with children. At Silicon Valley Law Offices, we recognize the sensitivity of these situations and strive to provide support and guidance to our clients. Our team of experienced divorce attorneys understand the complexities of family law and aims to handle cases without resorting to litigation whenever possible.
We are dedicated to making the divorce or separation process as efficient and amicable as possible. While we prioritize maintaining a cooperative environment, we acknowledge that emotions can often run high, and the opposing party may not always act fairly. With our extensive experience, we never lose sight of our primary objective: to protect our clients, their assets, and what matters most to them.
California law provides clear procedures for terminating marital status. In some cases, individuals may request a legal separation for reasons such as immigration, spirituality, culture, family, or health insurance. However, if one party requests legal separation, the other party can counter with a request for the Dissolution of Marriage, which automatically converts the case.
There are several ways to terminate marital status, including:
Contested Divorce: In cases where the parties cannot reach an agreement and require assistance in resolving disputes related to asset division, support, or custody matters.
No-Fault or No-Contest Divorce: When neither party is at fault for the breakdown of the relationship and both parties agree on asset division, support, and custody arrangements.
Annulment: An annulment may be sought if the marriage lasted less than three months or if fraud played a significant role.
The divorce attorneys at Silicon Valley Law Offices possess in-depth knowledge of all these scenarios. We are available to meet with you, understand the specifics of your case, and discuss the best options moving forward. Our goal is to provide personalized advice and legal representation that aligns with your unique circumstances.
At Silicon Valley Law Offices, we understand the difficulties that arise when a marriage comes to an end. Our compassionate team of divorce attorneys is here to support you during this challenging time. Contact us to schedule a consultation and let us guide you through the legal process while protecting your rights, assets, and the well-being of your family.
In some cases, it may be possible to seek an annulment, rather than going through the long and often stressful process of divorce. Also called “nullity of marriage,” an annulment is different from a dissolution of marriage in that the marriage is considered retroactively invalid. If you are granted a nullity, it means that legally, your marriage is considered to never have existed at all. Unlike a divorce, there is no six-month waiting period enforced after filing the Petition—if your Petition is granted, it is considered effective immediately, and you will be legally single.
Because of the way nullity works, there are some specific criteria your marriage must meet in order for a judge to grant the petition. Any one of these criteria will be grounds for annulment, but the burden of proof is on the Petitioner, and the judge must be satisfied that the criteria has, indeed, been met in order to grant the annulment.
In California, the possible grounds for annulment include:
Either the petitioner or their spouse was under the age of 18 at the time of the marriage. In order for this criteria to be considered, the petition must be filed within four years of the petitioner or their spouse reaching the age of 18.
Either spouse had an existing previous marriage. If bigamy is discovered, an annulment petition can be filed at any time, providing the first spouse is still living (otherwise the first marriage would no longer be considered valid).
Either spouse is considered to be of unsound mind. Both spouses must be alive in order to file on these grounds, and proof of the affecting illness must be provided to the judge’s satisfaction.
Either spouse is physically incapable of consummation. If filing on these grounds, you must do so within four years of the marriage.
Either spouse was defrauded in the marriage. The petition for annulment on the grounds of fraud must be filed within four years of the fraud being discovered.
Either spouse was coerced into the marriage. The petition must be filed within four years of the marriage, and coercion at the time of the marriage must be proven.
The spouses are proven to be related to each other by blood.
There are a lot of potential complications in any annulment Petition, and you would be best served seeking experienced legal counsel before proceeding. Our team will be able to help you determine which, if any, of these criteria you might qualify your case for annulment, and how to satisfy the Court’s burden of proof, so that your Petition has the highest chance of being granted.
Because an annulment legally renders the entire marriage null and void, there are potentially serious consequences worth considering when determining the best path forward for your specific case. Community property laws will not apply in the event of a nullity, meaning you and your spouse will have to divide your assets yourself—as if you’d never gotten married in the first place. Likewise, any marital benefits you may have received—insurance, for example, or a right to spousal support or inheritance—will be completely severed, and neither you nor your spouse will have any legal obligation to support the other after the Petition is granted. Because of this, we recommend an in-depth legal consultation, so that we can explore with you the potential risks and benefits to an annulment action versus another form of dissolution. That way, we can work with you to achieve the outcome that will best suit your needs.
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