We Help With All Aspects of Divorce
Although many issues arise in a divorce case, the divorce itself just involves ending the parties’ marriage. A marriage can only be ended by a judgment in a court case; the spouses cannot just simply agree their marriage is over. Until the marriage is formally terminated by the court, neither spouse can remarry, the spouses cannot file income taxes as single persons, and the parties are considered married for purposes of insurance, retirement and employment benefits, inheritance, and ownership of property. California has a mandatory minimum waiting period of 6 months from the date the summons and petition are served on the respondent before the marriage can be terminated. However, expiration of the 6-month period does not automatically terminate the marriage. As stated above, only a court can terminate a marriage.
The legal term for a divorce in California is a marital dissolution, but two other proceedings can be used in California that affects the marital status of the spouses:
- Annulment, which is a determination that the marriage is null and void because it arose under circumstances that indicate it was not voluntary, because it was not consummated, or because one spouse is unable to perform sexually. If a judgment of annulment is made the marriage is considered never to have existed, which can affect the right to spousal support and division of property. There are strict time limits for bringing a case to annul a marriage.
- Legal separation is a formal determination that the parties have separated, but stops short of terminating the marriage. Legal separation is typically used where for religious or other reasons there is some reason to keep the marital status alive while the parties live separately.
We can help with all aspects of divorce or other marital termination proceedings.
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Di Maria & Cone
4410 El Camino Real, Suite 108
Los Altos, CA 94022
Phone: (650) 321-4460
Fax: (650) 321-0632
Di Maria & Cone located in Palo Alto, represents clients throughout California, primarily on the San Francisco Peninsula and in Silicon Valley — in communities such as Atherton, Cupertino, Los Altos, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Woodside.