San Diego Marriage Separation – The Differences Between Divorce and Legal Separation/Annulment
A San Diego legal separation attorney can help you if you need help with your marriage annulment. Seek legal help instead of trying to go through the process yourself. Call to to be connected with San Diego annulment lawyer near you. In the courts of California legal separation cases are given the same importance as divorce cases and are treated almost in the same manner. The implications of a legal separation can often be just as serious as the ones of a divorce. The bases for legal separation are the same as for divorce. There are only two legal grounds for both divorce and legal separation, as stated in the Family Code Section 2310: “Irreconcilable differences that have caused an irreparable breakdown in the marriage; or Incurable insanity.” But what are the differences between the two?
The main differences between a legal separation and a divorce are the following:
• The absence of a residency requirement.
• Legal separation concludes when the court enters a judgment.
• The six months waiting period is not required for a legal separation.
• In the case of legal separation the two remain married but are no longer financially tied.
The most common reason for choosing a legal separation instead of a divorce is based on religious beliefs. In other words the parties’ religion is one that condemns divorce. Other reasons include the desire to keep receiving federal or military benefits which are only granted to married couples.
The Process of Obtaining a Legal Separation
This is very similar to the one leading to a divorce case. The initial petition is the same form used for marriage dissolution and other nullity actions. A case number and officers are assigned after the petition is filed. In order to avoid being defaulted the respondent must file the response within 30 days. The next step is the exchanging of financial statements known as Preliminary Declarations of Disclosure. Each party may then file for a temporary order. Afterwards, they will attend Family Resolution Conference and a Settlement Conference, which is mandatory, amongst other case management hearings. After all this the two parties are expected to reach a written agreement which will conclude the case. However, if the mutual agreement is not reached, the case will be resolved in court, where other issues will be decided upon as well, such as child support, custody and visitation rights, spousal support and distribution of goods and debts.
In the cases in which one of the spouses files for divorce and the other for legal separation the court will in most cases grant the divorce to the requesting spouse. The reason for this is that California law grants the right to divorce even if the other spouse is opposing the request.
California Law on Annulment Cases
In California annulment or nullity cases are quite rare. Through annulment the marriage is deemed as never having existed. Unlike in the case of divorce where the parties have a right to leave a marriage, in the case of annulment it is not considered a right of the party which instead has to prove the grounds for it, some of which are listed below:
• Bigamous Marriages
• Incestuous Marriages
• Lack of Capacity
• Missing First Spouse
• Physical Incapacity
• Unsound Mind
If a spouse files for divorce and the other for annulment, the court will most likely grant the annulment if the grounds are met. This means the marriage was never valid so there is no need for a divorce since there was no marriage in the first place.
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