Innocence and Putative Spouses

Trevino Law FAQs

Innocence and Putative Spouses

In re Marriage of Guo and Sun involved the denial of the putative spouse doctrine to a person who believed he should qualify as a putative spouse in a void marriage.

The husband in this case was married to another woman when the parties started dating. He filed for divorce from his first wife and married the second wife before the divorce from the first wife was final. The divorce from the first wife became final the day after the marriage to the second wife.

Guo filed a petition for an annulment of her marriage based on the fact that Sun was still married to his first wife when the parties married. Sun argued that he qualified as a putative spouse, because he did not realize that the marriage to his first wife was not dissolved. In the alternative, he argued that if Guo believed that she was in a valid marriage she would qualify as a putative spouse allowing Sun to also qualify as a putative spouse. The family law court rejected both arguments and Sun appealed.

The Appellate Court agreed with the trial court and upheld the order. In respect to the argument that Sun was a putative spouse, the court found it difficult to believe that he did not know that the divorce from the first wife was not final since he was or could be in contact with his divorce attorney. In addition, Sun could not qualify as a putative spouse just because his wife qualified as a putative spouse. The innocence of one spouse to qualify as a putative spouse does not impute the non-innocent spouse with putative spouse status.

If you need legal advice and are looking for a family law lawyer in Orange County to address a putative spouse issue or a divorce matter such as annulment, custody, child support, spousal support and/or property division, please consider Treviño Law in your divorce attorney search. We are located in Laguna Hills right off Lake Forest exit to both the 405 and 5 freeway.

Although the posting of this information can be considered free legal advice for a divorce in Orange County, it does not address other factors which may play a significant role in a particular dissolution. Circumstances in your divorce may alter the results in your dissolution.

Please note that this legal advice does not establish a family law attorney-client relationship. This is a legal advertisement for Treviño Law, Inc.

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