Like with a divorce, when you get a legal separation, you can ask the judge to make orders about: Custody and visitation; Child support; Spousal or partner support; The division of your property; and Who will be responsible for paying debts.
- California Divorce Process.
- Residency Laws in California.
- Divorce FAQ;
You can file in California if at least 1 of you is living in California. If your domestic partnership was registered in California, either 1 of you can file for legal separation in California, even if neither of you lives in California. If your domestic partnership was NOT registered in California, you can file for legal separation in California if at least 1 of you is living in California.
After an annulment, it is like your marriage or domestic partnership never happened because it was never legal. Incestuous between close blood relatives , or Bigamous where a spouse is already married to, or in a domestic partnership with, someone else. One of the people was under 18 years old at the time of the marriage or domestic partnership. One of the people got married or registered a domestic partnership as a result of force or fraud or while physically or mentally incapacitated.
Either side was already legally married or in a registered domestic partnership. This is different from bigamy which is automatically illegal because in this case, the marriage or domestic partnership took place after the former spouse or domestic partner was absent for 5 years and not known to be living or generally thought to be dead.
To get an annulment, you must be able to prove to the judge that 1 of these reasons is true in your case. This makes an annulment case very different from a divorce or a legal separation. Keep in mind that getting an annulment does not depend on how long you have been married.
Divorce - Superior Court of California
Even if you have been married only a very short time, you may not be able to prove to the judge that your case has 1 of the legal reasons that makes your marriage invalid. Annulments are very rare. If you ask to have your marriage or domestic partnership annulled, you will have to go to hearing with a judge. If you want to file for an annulment, talk to a lawyer. Skip to main content Skip to topics menu Skip to topics menu.
Getting Around Residency Requirements in California
Cancel Print. Advanced Search. Options to End Marriage or Domestic Partnership. When you start a divorce case, you can ask the judge to make orders about: Custody and visitation; Child support; Spousal or partner support; The division of your property; and Who will be responsible for paying debts.
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Either you or your spouse must have lived in: California for the last 6 months, AND The county where you plan to file the divorce for the last 3 months. If you do not meet the residency requirement, you can still file for a legal separation. You must file in whichever county you were married. Keep in mind that if neither of you lives in California, the court may not be able to make orders about other issues like property and debt, partner support, or your children.
If this is your situation, talk to a lawyer with experience in same-sex marriage laws. For domestic partners to get a divorce: If your domestic partnership is registered in California, you have automatically agreed to the jurisdiction of the California courts to end your domestic partnerships — even if you move away or have never lived in California.
If your domestic partnership was NOT registered in California, you or your domestic partner must have lived in: California for the last 6 months, AND The county where you plan to file the divorce for the last 3 months. NOTE: If you are in both, a same-sex marriage AND a domestic partnership, and you want to end both at the same time, you must meet the requirements for both. If you cannot or do not want to get a divorce, you can ask the judge for a legal separation. A couple may decide they want to file for legal separation instead of divorce because: They do not want to get a divorce but want to live apart and get orders from the court about money, property, and parenting issues.
To get a legal separation, you follow the same basic process used for a divorce.
California Divorce Timeline
California residency requirements for a legal separation For married couples to get a legal separation: You can file in California if at least 1 of you is living in California. Unfortunately, divorce proceedings are lengthy by their very nature. Many states have mandatory waiting periods and a proceeding can take six months or longer. Residency requirements only require you to live in California for a period of six months, so a legal separation can be an attractive option for those who want to divorce but must wait to comply with residency guidelines.
Residency Laws in California For a married couple to divorce in California, one person involved in the marriage must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. For example, if you want to get divorced in Los Angeles, you only need to be a resident of the city for three months.
Divorce in California: How Much Does It Cost? How Long Does It Take?
Waiting for a little longer might be beneficial, especially if you establish a legal date of separation with a family law attorney. Instead of filing for dissolution of marriage divorce , consider a legal separation instead. There are no residency requirements for legal separation in California, and you can amend the petition once you meet the residency requirement.
The main advantage of this arrangement is access to the Family Law Court, which will allow you to file temporary orders for child support, spousal support, and other forms of relief. It also allows you to begin the mandatory six month waiting period for divorce in California from the date of the separation, not the date of when you fulfilled the residency requirement.