Tinero, Aharonov and Associates Tinero, Aharonov and Associates A Family Law Practice, LLP

What are your options under family law to end your marriage?

Every California couple's circumstances are unique. For that reason, family law offers three different options when it comes to legally ending a marriage. An individual can choose to seek a divorce, a legal separation or an annulment (also referred to as a nullity).

The state of California does not necessarily approve of annulments, which erase the marriage completely. Legally, it is as if the parties were never married. Therefore, a legal basis for an annulment must be proffered to the court during a trial. For example, if a minor married without the consent of his or her parents/guardian, an annulment could be granted. In the alternative, if one spouse discovers that the other spouse perpetrated some fraud or deceit, the court might grant an annulment.

Parties who seek legal separations often do so due to religious, insurance or tax reasons. The parties no longer wish to be married and would like some of the benefits of a divorce without actually being considered "unmarried" under the law. A legal separation can be converted to a divorce at a later date. A divorce severs the marital relationship, and both parties are considered single once again. In both of these scenarios, the marriage itself is not erased as it would be in a nullity.

In most cases, a nullity will not be an option. Therefore, more than likely, you will need to choose whether to file for a legal separation or a divorce. Discussing your situation with a California family law attorney will help determine which avenue is best for you and your children, if any.

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Encino, CA 91436

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