Divorce And Separation

Get The Support You Need When Facing Divorce

Last updated on September 2, 2022

In California, there are three legal options to end a marriage (or registered domestic partnership):

  • Divorce/Dissolution
  • Legal Separation
  • Annulment

Under all three options, it is possible to end the marriage or partnership at the request of only one spouse or partner. Even if the other partner objects or declines to take part in legal proceedings, it is not possible for one party to stop the marriage from ending. If a spouse or domestic partner does not participate in the divorce case, the other spouse/partner will still be able to get a “default” judgment and the divorce will go into effect.

California is a “no fault” divorce state, which means that either spouse can obtain a divorce without having to prove that the other spouse specifically broke the terms of their marriage. When a divorce is the result of a general breakdown in the relationship, as opposed to a transgression such as extramarital affair, it is possible in California to simply cite “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the divorce.

Once you have decided to end your marriage, it’s important to make a plan in coordination with your attorney. By working with an experienced lawyer like Lisa A. Sale, you can save time and money in the long run by navigating the legal system efficiently. We will also work with you to craft a legal strategy designed to protect your finances and other interests.

Ending A Domestic Partnership

As of January 1, 2005, couples who want to end a domestic partnership must also file for divorce, legal separation. or annulment. If you want to end a domestic partnership, it is important to talk to a lawyer and an accountant who is knowledgeable in this area of law. It is important to know how your custody and property rights might be affected by the dissolution. Further, there are complicated tax issues than can arise when ending a domestic partnership.


This is when a marriage or domestic partnership is invalid because the relationship was:

  • incestuous,
  • bigamous,
  • one partner is under the age of eighteen (18),
  • prior existing marriage,
  • one partner was of unsound mind,
  • the marriage was procured by fraud, force or physical incapacity.

An annulment does not depend on the length of your marriage or domestic partnership. But there is a time limit on when you can request an annulment. Further, you must prove to the Judge that one of the listed reasons is true in your case. Proving a basis for an annulment can be very difficult. It would be helpful to speak to a lawyer about what you will need to show to the Judge in order to get an annulment.

If successful in obtaining an annulment, it means that your marriage never existed. Therefore, your rights and obligations differ from a divorce which may have an effect on custody (if you have children) and/or property rights.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

To learn more about how the Law Office of Lisa A. Sale, APC, can help in your case, call 805-552-5224 or contact our office online to make an appointment.

From our office in Westlake Village, we serve clients throughout Los Angeles County and Ventura County.