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San Diego Divorce, Legal Separation, Annulment and Paternity in 2015: Summary


If you are a party in a divorce, paternity or legal separation in 2015, it is important to understand the different actions under California law. A divorce is a petition [request] to dissolve a marriage with the parties being legally single at the end of the case. This also includes court orders for the parenting plan which is custody and visitation and where the children will live and with who. There are also orders for child support per California law which is calculated by a computer program called the Disso Master whether the child support is pre judgment or post judgment. In addition, depending on the facts of the case, there can also be orders for alimony, or spousal support, which are calculated by the same computer program for pre judgment and by Family Law Code Section 4320 for post judgment orders. Finally, there is also a division of all assets and debts of the parties and also can be orders for attorney fee contributions. All of the same orders apply to legal separation except that you are not legally single and cannot remarry. A spouse will choose a legal separation over a divorce [most commonly] in two specific fact situations: religious conviction not to divorce and medical benefit continuation. For example, the Vatican has no divorce and devout Catholics may choose to never divorce but do not want to continue living together as husband and wife so may legally separation. In addition, if one spouse is obtaining medical benefits from their spouse and do not have other options for medical insurance, then a legal separation may allow for continuation of medical benefits even though a legal separation judgment. It is legally possible to have a legal separation and then divorce. In a paternity case, the parents were never married but have a child or children together. In these cases, the only issues are visitation and custody and child support but not spousal support or division of debts or assets. While unmarried parents may own real property or personal property or vehicles together, these would not be under the jurisdiction or power or authority of the San Diego Superior Court in family law court to divide and may have to be resolved in civil court if an agreement cannot be finalized. A nullity, or annulment, of the marriage is for spouses who were legally married but are asking the San Diego Superior Court Judge to enter an order that they were never married. This can be either a void or voidable marriage. An example of a void marriage is one in which either of the parties was still married when they married each other. Another example is one where one of the spouses was not of legal age to marry. A voidable marriage includes fraud [for example] as to procreation. If one spouse knows that they are sterile but represents to the other spouse that they are not sterile and want a family and the parties marry intending to have a family but cannot due to the fraud in the procreation, then the aggrieved spouse can ask for a nullity. Nullity is disfavored under California law and only applicable for limited cases.


Undoubtably, there are going to be many changes in family law in 2015. The Judicial Council Forms which are mandatory for certain filings almost always change yearly. In addition, the Family Law Code often changes as well. Also, law will change with California Court of Appeal cases, California Supreme Court cases and United States Supreme Court cases.


The law firm of Doppelt and Forney, APLC can help you stay abreast of the law and all changes. This includes not only changes in the law and codes but also changes to the forms and procedure. If you are going through a nullity, legal separation, paternity or divorce, please free to set a complimentary and confidential consultation.

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