Divorce/Dissolution of Marriage
DIVORCE A.K.A. DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE
You or your marital partner wants to end your marriage. One of you, with or without the assistance of legal counsel, files a petition for dissolution of marriage. Contrary to urban myth, your marriage will not automatically terminate, by operation of California Law, upon the mere passage of 6 months + 1 day after you or your spouse files for divorce.
Whether or not you can afford to employ the services of an experienced family law attorney, the requirements to properly enter a valid and enforceable judgment are somewhat complex, depending on the length of your marriage; the extent of your assets and debts; whether or not you have minor children with your spouse; and whether or not you or your mate will need spousal and/or child support.
In some circumstances, even though you may think divorce is your best option, there might be excellent reasons to work harder – if possible – to save your marriage. It is critical you obtain expert legal advice in the event ending your marriage could damage your long-term family and/or financial interests.
Also, believe it or not, it is not completely uncommon for parties to physically separate, file for divorce, and remarry others – without ever having a judgment entered terminating their previous marriage. This mistake is called “bigamy,” and can have disastrous implications on a party’s right to spousal support, rights in adoption proceedings, derivative Social Security benefits, and property rights. If you are not sure a judgment was entered terminating your prior marriage, you should contact our firm immediately, particularly if you are planning to remarry, or already have remarried.