The Family Law Division handles cases in which people are ending a marriage or registered domestic partnership, identifying a child’s legal parents, determining custody and visitation issues, establishing or enforcing child and spousal support or dealing with domestic violence issues.
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A Dissolution of Marriage or Registered Domestic Partnership (Divorce) is a legal action that ends marriage or a registered domestic partnership.
A legal separation is a legal action filed by a married person or domestic partner who wants to stay married or in the domestic partnership, but also wants to resolve all other issues, such as child customer, child and spousal support and property division.
A nullity of marriage or domestic partnership (Annulment) is a legal action to determine that a marriage or domestic partnership is not legally valid. An annulment restores the parties to the status of single persons, as though they were never married.
This action can be used by a married couple to end the marriage. This action is very limited and can only be used by a married couple who meet certain requirements.
Domestic partners are defined as "two adults who have chosen to share one another's lives in a intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring."
Spousal Support is the legal obligation to contribute to the economic maintenance of his or her spouse after a dissolution, legal separation or nullity of a marriage or domestic partnership. When a couple legally separates or divorces, the court may order one spouse or domestic partner to pay the other a certain amount of support money each month. This is called ‘spousal support’ for married couples and ‘partner support’ in domestic partnerships. It is sometimes also called ‘alimony’.