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Family Law & Divorce FAQs

What can I do if my husband was already married when we got married?

Q: My husband was not divorced when we got married do I need to divorce him? What judgment paperwork would I need?
A: Or get a consultation with a local Family Law Attorney...there could be complications based on length of marriage, etc, and just doing a simple divorce might be simpler....

I'm not married to someone I thought I was married to what should I do?

Q: I thought I was married to him turns out we are not legally married due to the fact that he is still legally married to his third wife. Do I need to file for a divorce from him or what do I need to do to sever the relationship?
A: How long were you married? Are there homes, pensions, other financial issues? Depending on all the facts you could file for an annulment, but a simple divorce could be a lot easier.

Am I legally married?

Q: I went to Tahoe Ca and had a ceremony of marriage. I never filed paper work and I need to know if I'm really married or not. It was about 20 yrs ago and I need a divorce if so because she cheated and wont go away. Plus now I am raised HER daughter and OUR son.
A: If you went through a marriage ceremony, you are are most likely legally married, and should go through a divorce process to dissolve your marriage.....get a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney to know all your rights.

When getting divorced in CA, are all assets split equally even if one spouse left the home and hasn't paid toward the mortgage?

Q: My partner owns his home with his legal wife, but they have been estranged for over 5 years. She hasn't contributed to the mortgage (both their names are on the deed) or home repairs since she left and now has a child with another man. My partner and I also have a child, and we don't want to be forced to sell the house in divorce court or pay her half of what the house is worth, but we don't know if our situation will be taken into consideration by a judge when assets are divided. If we are forced to sell, we will be forced to move to another state, considering the market prices in the bay area.
A: Basically all property acquired during marriage is community property and is split equally upon divorce, unless the parties agree otherwise......However, your brief scenario leaves out way too much information...I would suggest you obtain a consultation with an experienced family law attorney...

Divorce in TN or CA?

Q: What are the differences in filing for divorce in TN vs CA? My wife and I have been separated for almost a decade, no shared debt or property, one minor child who lives with my wife. We already have a court order for child support from the CA courts. I expect her to resist the divorce and am wondering which state would be best to file in?
A: It sounds like you can file in Ca. or she can file in TN....... since you have been separated 10 years, it also sounds like you have divided property and are in agreement on custody visitation and support. You state she may "resist" the divorce....California is a no fault divorce state, if only one person wants a divorce, you will get it. If you want to know TN law, you will have to consult a TN lawyer, but I imagine since you have been separated for so long and are in agreement on most things, any difference would likely be minimal.

How do I finalize my divorce?

Q: I filed for divorce in March 2018. Went to court in July 2018 I am now receiving a monthly payment for Child support & Alimony. Child custody & visitation is worked out between us. We were married 3 years. I signed a quit claim deed on our home (I was told it was to get a better mortgage rate) On preliminary financial documents (FL-140, FL142, FL150) I wrote that the home was both of our property as well as other major appliances etc. I also asked for attorney's fees ( I only spoke to an attorney once but figured I will need further advice before the divorce is finalized) The judge said nothing about what was disclosed on these financial documents as far as homeownership, or if I will receive some of my spouses pension which baffles me! I don't know how to proceed. All lawyers want a retainer fee up front so I have not financial means at this time to hire a lawyer. What documents do I need to file now? Any advice is appreciated
A: If you are in agreement with your spouse on all matters, and he will cooperate on signing all papers, an attorney can finalize the matter for you without going to court for a small and very reasonable fee...if you are not in agreement on all matters, you will have to go to trial, starting by filing proof of disclosure and then an At Issue Memorandum.....Consult a family law attorney.....

How do I get divorced from distance?

Q: We married some months ago but I left to Europe as it was not the right decision. Now I am sure I want to divorce. I asked my husband to file for divorce if he is agree and he would do it for me.
My question is, how can he serve me with divorce in Europe by mail or email?
Do I have to be in USA. If I don't come how can I get my divorce certificate and do I have to change my name as I have his name now !
No kids but separate property ... no summary dissolution possible.
It would be great to hear from a professional lawyer. Thank you very much...
A: Yes, no problem getting divorce from out of country if you are cooperating. Service by certified mail is fine. If your spouse is filing, have him consult an attorney. If you want to file, consult your own attorney.

If I am if I am in a middle of a divorce and I purchase a home or coming to a lump sum of money does he get any of that money?

Q: I am considering buying a new home but I'm in the middle of a divorce. I want to make sure that if I buy a home in CALIFORNIA my soon to be ex husband can't take me to court and ask me to sale my home. Our divorce will be final in January of next year. I also want to make that any monies I come into he cannot ask for.
A: Likely not a problem, and should be covered in your agreement, but contact a local divorce lawyer for a free consultation anyway..

If divorce am I entitled to half the house if house is only in husbands name but been in the home for 28 year?

Q: I want to know if I'm entitled to half the house that we have lived in for over 27 years house was purchased by husband
A: You will likely have an interest in the home, but get a free consultation from a local attorney who can give you all details.....

Can file for divorce in Alameda county court since I moved to here from LA only 2.5 months ago?

Q: I moved to Hayward from LA(Ventura County) in first week of May 2018. Its not yet 3 months. But I wanted to file for my divorce in the Alameda County Court (Hayward hall of justice).

Do I have to wait till its 3 months (End of July) or go file back in Ventura county?
What type of documentation will be required to show residency proof in this county?

I have the documentation ready to file but not sure about this residency criteria. Please advice.
A: In order to file for divorce in California, at least one of the parties must have lived in the state for six months prior to filing, and the County you are filing in for three months immediately prior....
The only documentation you need is the Petition, where you merely check boxes that you qualify under the above criteria, and then swear in the form that such info is correct...

Marriage Annulment?

Q: Married two months, last kiss was at ceremony, never consummated marriage, new wife avoids me when possible and conjures something to be displeased with me about when she can't avoid me ( such as we are currently going on over a week of silent treatment because I left the toothpaste bottle on the counter) . Just overheard a long conversation while her and her friend were talking about sex and my wife told her that she only wants sex from her friend that she works with and defiantly not with me. Leaving me to believe that the true intention of marriage was not to be with me but rather to get as much of my property and finances as she could before she left me. Do I have a case for an annulment as she entered into marriage under fraudulent terms?
A: It may be possible to get an annulment on the facts you state, but a divorce would be far simpler, without the necessity of a court hearing, or proving any grounds for annulment to a judge. As it would seem you are right that she married you for financial reasons, don't wait, get the divorce going immediately.