San Diego, CA asked in Divorce, Child Support and Civil Rights for California

Q: There is a woman submitted to the court to request a divorce.


1 Lawyer Answer
Sandy Lynne Meade
Sandy Lynne Meade
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The man will want to file a response/objection to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. He may wish to consult with an attorney to make a special appearance on his behalf based on "lack of jurisdiction". Since he was already legally married 13 years ago, and assuming that marriage was properly recorded and no dissolution obtained, a second "marriage" would not be legal. It appears the woman is trying to impose a "common law marriage" by claiming to have lived with the man for 8 years and having his children. I do not believe California is a common law marriage state, but does recognize legally-binding common law marriages from other states. Since the woman lacks a marriage certificate of any kind, and the man can produce proof he is legally married to someone else, he should probably file a "Special Appearance" objection/motion for dismissal of the action based on fraud and lack of jurisdiction. The woman may have valid claims for child support if any of her children are his biologically. That would be a separate matter. I would recommend a demand for DNA testing should she file for that unless the man knows the children are his. If he did live with this woman for 8 years and held himself out to be her husband, there could be a civil claim for one-half of all assets the two acquired during the time they lived together. I would strongly suggest you contact an experienced family law attorney in the county in which the action was filed to address this complex situation.

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.