Sole Custody

One parent can have either sole legal custody or sole physical custody of a child. Courts generally won’t hesitate to award sole physical custody to one parent if the other parent is deemed unfit — for example, because of alcohol or drug dependency, a new partner who is unfit, or charges of child abuse or neglect. However, in most states, courts are moving away from awarding sole custody to one parent and toward enlarging the role a divorced father plays in his childrens’ lives. Even where courts do award sole physical custody, the parties often still share joint legal custody, and the noncustodial parent enjoys a generous visitation schedule. In that situation, the parents would make joint decisions about the child`s upbringing, but one parent would be deemed the primary physical caretaker, while the other parent would have visitation rights.… Read More



In California, a husband, wife, same-sex or transgender person who enters into a marital or domestic partnership relationship with another person who is either a wife, husband, same-sex, or transgender person. The spouses apply for a marriage license, and then solemnize the marital or registered domestic partnership relationship in a private or public ceremony.… Read More



Any person, other than the party, providing a copy of the papers filed to the other side.… Read More


Trial separation

When a couple lives apart for a test period, to decide whether or not to separate permanently, it`s called a trial separation. Even if the spouses don`t get back together, the assets they accumulate and debts they incur during the trial period are usually considered marital property. This type of separation is usually not legally recognized, but is instead a specific period in a couple`s relationship.

  • Living apart. Spouses who no longer reside in the same dwelling are said to be living apart. In some states, living apart without intending to reunite changes the spouses` property rights. For example, some states consider property accumulated and debts incurred while living apart to be the separate property or debt of the person who accumulated or incurred it. In other states, property is joint unless and until a divorce complaint is filed in court. Also in some states, couples must live apart
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The terms “divorce” and “separation” are often used interchangeably, but this is incorrect. A separation is when marriage partners sever their relationship with the intent of ending the marriage. Separation does not have much legal effect in and of itself.… Read More


Separate Property

Property or assets that belong to one spouse that will not be included in the property distribution or division upon a divorce. This describes property owned prior to marriage, acquired by gift or inheritance, and earnings and accumulations earned while living separate and apart.… Read More


Religious Annulment

Within the Roman Catholic Church, a couple may obtain a religious annulment after obtaining a civil divorce, so that one or both people may remarry, within the church or anywhere else, and have the second union recognized by the church. The grounds for annulments in the Catholic Church are different than for civil annulments.… Read More



When a couple decided to cease the divorce process at any stage and return to their legally married status.… Read More