Southern California Family Law Blog

Most everyone understands what a divorce is, but this isn’t the only legal method for dissolving your marriage in California. In some cases, it may be better to seek an annulment.

The Difference Between Divorce and Annulment in California

In California, a divorce is the legal termination of a marriage or domestic partnership. A divorce can be filed due to irreconcilable differences or the fact that the spouse has permanent legal incapacity to make decisions. California is a no-fault divorce state, so a spouse or domestic partner does not need a specific reason (such as adultery) to dissolve the relationship. Even if the one spouse does not want to get a divorce, the divorce process won’t stop (unless both spouses agree to remain married before the divorce is finalized).

Unlike a divorce, which acknowledges the validity of a marriage or domestic partnership, an annulment terminates the relationship by declaring it null and void. An annulment declares that the marriage was never legal, so it will be as if it never happened.

In order to get your marriage annulled, it must be shown that it was not legal. Examples of illegal marriages include:

  • The people in the relationship are close blood relatives
  • One of the people in the relationship is married or in a domestic partnership with another person
  • One party was under the legal age to marry at the time
  • One party was unsound of mind to understand the nature of the marriage and the obligations included in it
  • One party married as a result of force or fraud (such as marrying solely to obtain a green card)
  • One party was physically incapacitated to consummate the marriage

Should I Get an Annulment or Divorce?

If you qualify for an annulment, it is likely best to seek this method for the dissolution of your marriage. An annulment does not involve a lengthy legal process like a divorce. However, keep in mind that there must be valid legal reasons to qualify for an annulment.

As a result of a marriage or domestic partnership being annulled, both parties will return to their financial status prior to the marriage. If you wish to divide your marital assets or seek spousal support, it is best to file for divorce. It is best to consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your legal options before you proceed with the dissolution of your marriage.

Call the Divorce Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

If you or a loved one are considering a divorce or an annulment, it’s important to have an experienced family law attorney by your side to help you understand which course of action is best for you. At Wallin & Klarich, our divorce attorneys have been successfully representing clients and their interests in family law cases for over 35 years. We can help you now.

With offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, Torrance, Victorville and West Covina, you can find a dedicated Wallin & Klarich family law attorney available near you no matter your location.

Call us at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

Can Dating While Divorcing in California Hurt Your Case?

Life is messy, complicated, and for the most part, unpredictable. You may have married your spouse with the feeling that there could not possibly be anyone else for you. Years later, you now realize that the person you married is no longer the right one for you, and you find yourself in the middle of a divorce and custody battle. You just want it to end so you can st… Continue Reading.......

From Spouses to Roommates: Living with Your Ex While Getting a Divorce

Ending a marriage comes with a lot of legal questions. “Where will you live?” often becomes one of the biggest challenges in a divorce, as affordable housing in California can be difficult to find. However, a new California law aims to give divorcing couples another option: staying right where they are. Starting January 1, 2017, a new California law wil… Continue Reading.......

How Accusations of Domestic Violence Could Affect Your Divorce

Actors Amber Heard and Johnny Depp have been making headlines lately, after the 30-year-old actress filed for divorce from 52-year-old Depp. Heard claims she suffered verbal and physical abuse during the marriage. She obtained a temporary domestic violence restraining order against Depp after filing for divorce. How do these allegations of domestic v… Continue Reading.......

How to Battle the Biases of a Judge in Your Family Law Case

Unfortunately, the outcome of many cases reveals that in some areas of the law, the fundamental principal of equality is too often shoved aside in favor of entrenched cultural biases. This is especially true in family law, where the traditional views of gender roles in a marriage often dictate the outcome in child custody and divorce cases. Every family law… Continue Reading.......

L.A. County Child Abuse Case Could Affect Hundreds of Custody Cases in San Bernardino

If you were involved in a child custody case within the last three years in San Bernardino County, some recent revelations about the actions of one court mediator may affect the status of your case. Recently, Kevin Bom, a court mediator working in Victorville, was charged with falsifying records in a Los Angeles County child custody case. Bom and three other… Continue Reading.......

Fighting Back Against False Claims of Child Abuse During Child Custody Cases

It is not uncommon in child custody cases for one parent to make false accusations of child abuse against the other. In the heat of the moment, this can seem like a possible way to gain an upper hand. Fortunately, there are ways that you can fight back against false accusations of child abuse.

Understanding Child Abuse Charges (PC 273)

The first step is to unders… Continue Reading.......

Gaining Custody for Fathers is Still an Uphill Battle

While social movements have been successful in removing many of the gender-based stereotypes that used to factor into child custody decisions, there still exists is a large disparity between the percentages of mothers who are awarded child custody compared to fathers who are granted custody. While California courts no longer operate with a presumption… Continue Reading.......

Why You Should Resist the Urge to Move Out During a Divorce

If you are going through a divorce, you will often find yourself wishing that time would move faster. The legal process can be lengthy, and the hurt that you experience can leave you with the urge to quickly leave the marital house so that you can avoid awkward moments with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. In many situations, though, this urge should be ignored. Mov… Continue Reading.......