Should I file for an annulment before I move? 7 Answers as of January 09, 2011

I found out that my husband is still married to his 1st wife. We have a son together. My husband is deployed right now and I would like to move to another state to be close to family before he gets back. Should I file for the annulment before I move or wait till I get to where I am going?

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Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
Your husband is deployed. You have a legitimate legal basis for annulment (pre-existing marriage; fraud). Since you are already in California, it would probably be easier for you to file in California, especially since it was a California marriage. Then, you would not have to worry about residency requirements in the new state. You still have to provide notice, but if he really was still married to someone else, it is a done deal. It is a bigamous marriage. You will also have to file a Paternity action, as well, since you will have to legally establish that the child's father is the child's father, since you will become as if you were never married to him. You can do that after you move. That will be easier for you. Contact the Clerk's Office of your local Superior Court. They will probably provide you with free form packets, and might offer counseling with a Court attorney, called a 'Court Facilitator'. That attorney will not represent you, but will help you with the forms.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/9/2011
Saddleback Law Center
Saddleback Law Center | Paris Kalor
Yes, because you then do not have to satisfy the residency requirement of the new place you move to.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/7/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
It depends on which state you are moving. When you move from one state to another, you must satisfy the residency requirement before you can file for annulment. However, if the assets and debts are small, I would suggest filing before you move to another state as it will be quicker.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/7/2011
Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP
Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP | Paul M. Teinert
Your question is a somewhat complicated question because of the involvement of a child. While you would be a candidate for annulment you may not be able to leave the state with your child absent a custody order allowing you to do so or a stipulation from the father stating he is okay with the move.

Below I've included the relevant family code for annulment for your reference.

If you decide to hire an attorney to assist you with your matter please feel free to contract our office to set up a free confidential consultation. "A subsequent marriage or domestic partnership is illegal and void from the beginning if either party has a spouse or domestic partner still living unless the former marriage/domestic partnership was dissolved or adjudged a nullity before the date of the subsequent marriage/domestic partnership. [Ca Fam 2201(a)(1)]"
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/7/2011
Law Office of Stephen Pearcy
Law Office of Stephen Pearcy | Stephen Pearcy
I'd recommend filing in CA if that's where you were married and that's where you and he have been living when he's not deployed. The CA courts will have jurisdiction, and they probably have more favorable laws that relate to child support than other states have.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/7/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    If you wait until after you move, you may still face jurisdiction in California and have to manage your case from afar. Call an attorney in each state you might live in and ask for a recommendation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/7/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    I cannot advise of the law or the legal procedure in any other state. You also didn't disclose when you are moving. In California, any marriage is void when one party was/is still married to another person. Thus, you can request an annulment in California. However, if you're moving right away, and you don't want your move to be delayed by having to deal with the annulment process here, then I'd suggest you look up the annulment law in the state where you plan to move. Better yet, call a local family law lawyer in the area where you plan to relocate and get advice on proceeding with an annulment there. If you decide to proceed with an annulment in California, feel free to contact my office for further assistance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/6/2011
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