3 Main Ways To End A Marriage Or Registered Domestic Partnership
A divorce legally ends your marriage or domestic partnership. After getting a divorce, also known as a dissolution of marriage or a dissolution of domestic partnership, you will be considered single and may then marry or become a domestic partner once again.
In the state of California, which is a “no-fault” divorce state, you may get a divorce if you have “irreconcilable differences” with your spouse/domestic partner. The court does not consider either party in a divorce to be guilty or non-guilty, therefore you do not have to give any other reason for a divorce. The courts only interests in a divorce is in helping both parties come to a fair agreement and moving forward in their lives.
In initiating a divorce, you may ask the judge to make specific orders regarding:
- Child Support
- Child Custody & Visitation
- Division of Property
- Spousal Support
- Division of Debts Accrued During Marriage
- Attorney Fees
- Domestic Violence/Restraining Orders
A divorce in California takes at least 6 months from the original date that the person whom is filing notifies their partner about the divorce. Some cases may take longer, but the minimum time in California is 6 months. During these 6 months you may submit all of the required paperwork and have your case approved, but the mandatory waiting period will still remain.
If for some reason a divorce is not desired or possible, a legal separation may be requested from the court. A legal separation is not technically an end to a marriage or domestic partnership, and therefore the parties involved may not be able to remarry or enter a domestic partnership. If specific requirements are met, a legal separation may be changed to a divorce.
Here are a few situations where a legal separation might be decided upon over a divorce:
- Religious or Personal Beliefs
- Financial Benefits from remaining married (health insurance, life insurance, etc.)
- Residency Requirements by the state not met
If a court determines that your marriage/domestic partnership is not legally valid, you will be eligible for an annulment. Annulments are also known as nullity of marriage or nullity of domestic partnership. Once you have an annulment, your marriage/domestic partnership will be treated as if it had never happened.
Examples of illegal marriages include:
- Marriage To A Minor
- Forced or Fraudulent Marriages
- Marriage To A Mentally Incapacitated Individual
- Marriage To Someone Thought To Be Deceased
In order to qualify for an annulment, there must be proof of an illegal marriage. Typical reasons for divorce or legal separation do not qualify for annulment.