If Not Divorce, Then What?
California law recognizes several ways that your legal status as a couple can end:
Divorce – Also known as marriage dissolution, a divorce indicates that the marriage no longer exists. The parties are free to enter into new marriages. The couple’s marital property and marital debts get divided evenly.
Annulment – An annulment is a court’s declaration that the marriage was never legally valid and therefore technically never existed. Some couples try to divorce, but the court grants an annulment instead because the marriage the couple is trying to dissolve is not valid. The most common reason that the court chooses to annul a marriage instead of dissolving it is that one of the parties was still legally married to their former spouse when they married their current spouse. Often, the old marriage took place in a foreign country, and the parties simply misunderstood whether the divorce was finalized.
Legal Separation – In a legal separation, the parties divide their marital property, just like they would in a divorce. The court also determines their parenting schedule and child support if they have minor children. Because they are not officially divorced, though, they still have the inheritance rights of any other married couples, and they can benefit from each other’s insurance policie, retirement savings, and in many instances, health insurance benefits.
Termination of Domestic Partnership – If you and your partner are not legally married but have registered your domestic partnership, you can legally end the relationship by filing for a termination of domestic partnership. Depending on the complexity of your financial entanglements with your domestic partner, you might be able to file for a termination of domestic partnership with the Secretary of State, instead of going through the court.
Summary Dissolution of Marriage in California
Couples who were married a short time and have very few financial entanglements can get a summary dissolution of marriage, according to California law. A summary dissolution of marriage is not necessarily faster nor cheaper than a conventional divorce, and it still legally counts as a divorce, not an annulment, legal separation, or termination of domestic partnership. Even though it is less complicated than most divorce cases, a summary dissolution of marriage still requires a lot of legal paperwork. In addition, there could be downsides to filing a summary dissolution in comparison to filing a regular dissolution of marriage. Whether you choose a conventional divorce or a summary dissolution, the process will go more smoothly if you have a professional legal document assistant prepare the court documents.
Choose A People’s Choice for Affordable Marriage Dissolution
Filing for divorce does not have to break the bank. A registered legal document assistant can make your divorce, summary dissolution of marriage, or termination of domestic partnership as painless as possible. Contact A People’s Choice at 800-747-2780 about professional court document preparation services.
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