Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law

What is a divorce?
Simply put, a divorce is a legal termination of marriage.

What is an annulment?
An annulment is a method of voiding the contract of marriage. If an
annulment is granted, the result is that the parties are treated as if the
marriage never occurred. An annulment can only be granted if the
initial marriage contract suffers from a defect in the contract formation.
Such defects include an underage party without parental consent, a
party lacking the mental capacity to understand the marriage contract
or fraud in the inducement of the marriage contract. An annulment can
only be granted to the innocent party, or the party that suffers from the

What is a legal separation?
Legal separation is a legal status conferred by a court, where the
parties remain married, but the court sets the rights and liabilities of
the parties with respect to child custody, support, visitation, alimony,
property and debts.  

Must I get divorced in court?
Yes, it is still necessary for a person who wants a divorce, to issue a
summons against the other person and then to appear in court to give
evidence. If the case is not defended, the process is usually fairly
quick and uncomplicated, particularly if there are no children and
simple proprietary issues.

Do I need an attorney to file for divorce?
No, there is no legal requirement that you have a lawyer represent you
in your divorce.  However, unless your divorce is extremely
uncomplicated, and does not involve children or division of substantial
property or assets, then using the services of a family law attorney is a
good idea.