Legal Alternatives To Divorce

Robert Busch
December 18, 2008 — 1,194 views  

For individuals having marriage problems, there are two possible alternatives to dissolution of marriage, commonly referred to as divorce. (1) Annulment: (California Family Code Section 2200 et. seq.) In limited circumstances you may wish to seek an "annulment". If you are successful in obtaining an annulment, it is as if you were never married. In my experience the court's are becoming more reluctant to grant annulments, so if this is something you are interested in you should speak with a family law attorney as soon as possible. Depending on which side of the fence you are on, there can be significant advantages, or disadvantages to an annulment. For starters, if there was no marriage, there can be no spousal support (alimony). Also, if there was no marriage there is no community property and there is no community property debt. 2. Legal Separation: (California Family Code Section 2310 et.seq.) In a legal separation the court can, with one exception, make the exact same orders regarding custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, division of property and debts they could make in a divorce action. The one exception is the court cannot grand you divorce. So why would someone choose a legal separation rather than a divorce? For starters, some religions do not sanction divorce, except in rare circumstances. Failure to get the church's blessing could result in being disfellowshipped or excommunicated, so they live apart until of them dies. For some couples, health insurance is a huge issue. It used to me that most employers would continue to provide health coverage for the employee's spouse as long as they were legally married. However, more and more companies are beginning to terminate coverage for spouses effective upon legal separation. Make sure you know your company's policy on health care coverage for the spouse when the parties are legally separated. Robert Busch, Attorney at Law

About the Author


Estate Planning Probate Conservatorships Guardianships Trust Administration


California State Bar, 122692 Eastern District of California


University of the Pacific, Mc George School of Law-Juris Doctor University of California, Davis-Bachelor of Arts, American History

Robert Busch