A California divorce is not as simple as filing paperwork and waiting for the court’s approval. Sometimes, divorce is not even the only option to dissolve the marriage. For that reason, couples should first take the time to understand how Redondo Beach divorce law defines divorce versus legal separation, summary dissolution, and annulment.
A divorce legally ends the marriage, separates property among the two parties, and, if necessary, establishes child custody responsibilities. A couple cannot file for a Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes, or Manhattan Beach divorce unless one or both of the parties have lived in California for at least six months and in Los Angeles County for at least three months. Legal separation does not have these residency requirements.
A legal separation does not end the marriage, but it does establish separation of property and defines child custody responsibilities. Under a legal separation, the couple may be able to retain some of the benefits of marriage, such as shared health insurance. Couples are advised to consult a local family divorce lawyer to verify that shared policies would remain intact under a legal separation.
Summary dissolution is the fastest and most efficient way to end a marriage. This is an option for some couples who have minimal shared property and financial obligations, no children, and were married less than five years. Again, a qualified South Bay family law attorney should be consulted for a detailed review of these requirements.
Only marriages that are not legally valid to begin with qualify for an annulment. The burden of proving the marriage was not valid falls on the individual requesting the annulment.
Please note that this information should not take the place of legal advice from a qualified divorce lawyer. California divorce laws are complex, particularly when the divorcing couple has children and shared financial obligations.