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DIVORCE / LEGAL SEPARATION / NULLITY

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DISSOLUTION – LEGAL SEPARATION- NULLITY OF MARRIAGE  and SUMMARY DISSOLUTION

LegalDoc-Prep has assisted thousands of California residents through Divorce, Legal Separation and Nullity cases over the past 25 years. We specialize in assisting the public  through these difficult transitions, utilizing compassion, attention to detail and quick  response to the needs of our clients!

LegalDoc-Prep provides divorce document preparation services in Sacramento that will facilitate and track the filing of your divorce paperwork, from filing the initial Petition to obtaining your final Judgment of Dissolution, Legal Separation or Nullity. We are available to answer all of your procedural questions along the way. We will keep you informed of every step as your divorce proceeds through the court system. Many of our clients have already filed their initial documents and are trying to progress through the court process, however, have received “court rejection notices” on filed documents or hit other road-blocks! If you are considering preparing your own divorce documents or have already begun the process of marital settlement agreement documentation, and are looking for professional assistance in Sacramento, we can help!

Let us make your document preparation efficient:

You will receive expert divorce document preparation – your documents will meet all California court requirements.

  • We can have your petitions ready for same day filing.
  • We have the knowledge and experience to get your case finalized as quickly as possible.
  • We are available to answer your procedural questions – if you need to contact us after hours, we will always reply to your message the next morning.
  • If you have legal questions, we may assist by providing approved literature for a better understating of legal terminology and concepts.
  • We offer flat fees – the price we quote is exactly what you will pay. Below are brief overviews of Dissolutions, Legal Separations, Nullities & Summary Dissolutions…

DISSOLUTION (Divorce)  The goal of a dissolution process is to terminate the marital status or domestic partnership and decide issues such as child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support and create an equitable division of assets and debts, as well as many related issues to these primary categories.

Residency Requirements: To file for dissolution of marriage in California one spouse must be a resident of California for a minimum of six (6) months and a resident of the county where the filing occurs for at least three (3) months immediately prior to filing the petition. If you have been a resident of the state of California for less than six months or of the county less than three months you may file for a “Legal Separation” and amend your legal separation to a dissolution of marriage after you have met the residency requirements.

Grounds for Dissolution: The grounds needed for dissolution of marriage in California are “Irreconcilable differences” and “Permanent legal incapacity to make decisions.”

Irreconciable differences; simply asserts that for whatever reason, one spouse decides to no longer continue in the marriage. (In some States of the US “fault of a spouse” is required to establish the need for a divorce).

Permanent Legal Incapacity to Make Decisions; must be medically determined and presented to the court.

LEGAL SEPARATION

A legal separation allows a couple to divide their assets and debts, create co-parenting schedules with children and address custody, child and spousal support issues that may be needed, however, does not terminate the marital status. This process is identical to the Dissolution process with this exception. Therefore, the couple may continue to file taxes jointly and remain on each other’s health coverage plans.

Why Choose a Legal Separation over a Dissolution of Marriage?

Couples may elect to obtain a Judgment of legal separation rather than a dissolution for several reasons, such as;

a.) The parties believe there is a reasonable possibility of reconciling in the future and desire not to terminate their marital status

b.) One party needs to remain on the health coverage plan of the other spouse to continue ongoing medical treatments and by terminating the marital status –by filing a dissolution–would no longer be available to the spouse in need.

c.) The filing party has not yet established residency in the State and/or County for the requisite time frame to file for Dissolution. After residency is established the party may amend the petition for legal separation to dissolution without paying an additional filing fee.

Important Facts:

  • You do not need to file a legal separation before filing a dissolution, they are separate types of filing and carry different legal outcomes.
  • A legal separation must be agreed to by both parties. If a party files a legal separation petition and the other responds by filing a request for dissolution the case will be characterized as a dissolution.
  • If you file for legal separation and decide to convert to a dissolution you can do so before obtaining a Judgment of dissolution. After a Judgment of dissolution has been entered, you must file a new petition and repay the initial filing fee again to open a dissolution case. A new case number is assigned.

NULLITY OF MARRIAGE 

To file a petition for “Nullity of marriage” or “Nullity of a Domestic Partnership” is when a court says your marriage or domestic partnership is NOT legally valid. After an annulment, it is like your marriage or domestic partnership never happened because it was never legal in the first place. Annulment of marriage is based on circumstances that existed prior to the marriage, rendering the marriage either, Void or Voidable.

Important Facts:

  • A nullity is determined by the court based on evidence submitted that the marriage union was entered into with a pre-existing defect. A short passage of time in the marriage is not an adequate basis for a Nullity request: i.e. we have only been  married for six (6) months
  • A “Void” circumstance is a pre-existing defect that dictates the marriage was never valid because it was contrary to law: i.e. one spouse is currently married to someone  else or a marriage had not fully terminated before remarriage…
  • A “Voidable” circumstance is a pre-existing defect that upon discovery may invalidate the marriage union: i.e. one party was underage at the time of marriage…

SUMMARY DISSOLUTION

Also, a shorter and easier way to handle a dissolution is available to qualifying individuals and is called a “Summary Dissolution” but not everyone can utilize this method. Briefly, a summary dissolution is possible for couples that meet the following circumstances:

  • Have no children together
  • The date of marriage was less than five years from the date of separation.
  • Do not own much property.
  • Do not owe many debts.
  • Have no disagreements on a division of assets and debts.

LegalDoc-Prep (LD-P) is not a law office and cannot represent you in court. We provide document preparation services at your specific direction and pursuant to; Business & Professional Code Sec. 6400. Services provided by (LD-P) are not a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. If you require legal advice contact an attorney; Sacramento Cnty Lawyer Referral at: www.calbar.ca.gov.

All information and contents found within this website has been derived from approved and sanctioned literature found on the California Association of Legal Document Assistants website. For more information please visit Calda.org.