Author: Jon D. Alexander, Esq.
In Orange County, California, you may terminate your marriage using three legal remedies.
(1) Nullity; (2) Legal Separation; (3) Marital Dissolution.
Is nullity an appropriate remedy for you? Maybe, but this option is only appropriate where the validity of the marriage is not clear. The difference between martial dissolution and annulmnet is that the remedies rely on conflicting assumptions.
A nullity is pursued because the petitioner (one who files the action) believes that no valid marriage ever existed and their seeking to prove this theory. A marital dissolution, rather, merely terminates an otherwise valid marriage.
That is, a nullity action asks a question? Was this marriage a valid marriage from the inception? A court must inquire as to whether the marriage was valid from day one.
Is the validity of marriage in doubt? Marriages may be invalid from the inception because of irregularities in the formalization procedures that ordinarily include obtaining the license, solemnization and authentication. But the marriage also may be void or voidable because of other legal defects like incest, bigamy, inducement by fraud or force, or where a party or both parties are minors of at the time of the marriage.
Assuming a nullity is a option, be aware that there are some disadvantages. As the petitioner you have the burden of proof. This can be costly and time consuming. In a typical marital dissolution the proceedings are no fault. However, in a nullity proceeding, fault and issues of innocence are essential and must be proved with evidence.
Parties to an invalid marriage do not have community property rights. But property acquired during the void or voidable marriage, which would have been community property but for the impediment to a valid marriage, may be deemed quasi-marital property and divided in a nullity proceeding as if it were community property. This only happens where ?putative spouse? status is established (this spouse has a good faith belief that the marriage is valid).
While these disadvantages are real and perhaps of overriding concern, there are many benefits of a nullity as well. If you are interested in learning of the benefits, please visit my site linked below. And please fill out a case questionnaire or join my mailing list for more free reports like this one. Thank you. Visit my site today!
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