Four Ways to Legally Separate From a Spouse in California

Four Ways to Legally Separate From a Spouse in California

In California, either partner may initiate divorce proceedings at any time for any reasons because California is a no-fault divorce state. The other partner’s consent is not even necessary to complete the proceeding, but it is much easier if both parties can work amicably to resolve the issues.

When it comes to separating from a spouse, there are four ways to do so—divorce, annulment, legal separation, and summary dissolution. At Kendall, Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP, we can not only help you decide what method will work best for your situation, but we can also fight for a fair resolution for you.


The most common way to end a marriage is through a divorce. A divorce in itself can be completed through different methods. The first is litigation, which occurs when the couple cannot agree to terms and the case must be presented in a family law court to a judge. The second is mediation. If a divorce is not contested by either spouse, they can work together outside of court to agree to terms. Finally, a divorce can be settled through self-representation. This is when one or both of the parties represent themselves to save on legal fees.


An annulment is another way to terminate a marriage, but there are specific qualifications for taking this course. A marriage can only be annulled if it was never legal in the first place. Examples of this include, a marriage involving someone under the age of 18, or if it was incestuous, bigamous, or entered into by force or fraud. In this case, a judge can declare the marriage null and void.

Legal Separation

A legal separation is another way to separate from a spouse. This does not officially terminate a marriage but allows spouses to live apart and have the court intervene in matters of child custody, spousal support, and child support.

Summary Dissolution

In California, Summary Dissolution is another option. This is an avenue for those who have been married for less than 5 years, have no children, and possess few assets or debt. Spousal support orders cannot be given in summary dissolution cases, but the parties will sign a property division agreement before filing for the dissolution of marriage.

Hire an Experienced Family Law Attorney Like Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP to Handle Your Case.

No matter what avenue you pursue to separate from your spouse, you will want an experienced family law attorney like Kendall, Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP on your team. With over 26 years of experience, you can trust that our family law attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and skills necessary to fight for you. We will work tirelessly to obtain a fair agreement for you and help make the process run as smoothly as possible. To schedule your initial consultation, contact us today at 909-482-1422.