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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13748
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Retroactive Divorce : California : No : Divorce paperwork

Customer Question

Retroactive Divorce
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California
JA: Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Please give me a bit more information, so we can help you best.
Customer: Divorce paperwork was filed in July 13 2013. Divorce would have been finalized in November 23 2013. I got married in July 18 2013.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Family Lawyer should know?
Customer: No
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Family Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you this evening.

I do need a little more information first, please. I'm not clear on what you mean by a retroactive divorce. If I'm understanding, you never got a divorce decree finalizing your first marriage before you got remarried. Are you asking now if you can still proceed with the original filing?

Once I hear back from you I will work on your answer. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I got a Divorce Decree. From the first marriage. The second marriage isn't legal. I heard that if my first wife writes a written consent letter to have our first marriage Retroactive to the Filing Date, that can make my second marriage legal
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply. That helps. Unfortunately, what you have heard is not correct.

A retroactive divorce is called divorce nunc pro tunc. The Latin literally means "now for then"; that is, the court will correct now what should have been done correctly earlier. State law typically allows such a decree only when the court meant to enter a divorce but, due to clerical errors, the divorce was not actually entered.

When either party is entitled to entry of judgment, but judgment was not signed, filed and entered because of mistake, inadvertence or negligence; so long as it appears no appeal will be taken, and neither party has moved for new trial or to set aside the judgment, a final judgment of dissolution may be entered as of the date it first could have been entered. CA Fam. Code §2346(a).

In your case, it does not sound like a mistake was made by the courts or there was a clerical error (unless there are facts I am not aware of). Rather you got remarried before the final order was entered on your first marriage. Thus, you are correct, that marriage is void and not legal.

You state that the divorce did go through later in 2013 - so your only remedy now is to legally marry your new spouse if that is your intent. There is no way to make it legal as of July 2013, I am sorry to say.

Did you need clarification or additional information about my answer? If so, please reply, I'm happy to assist further. Otherwise, please remember to leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars, as experts are not employees of this site and we are only paid if you leave a positive rating. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My current wife has filed for an Anullment. Do you know how long that takes?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

There's no specific set time -it's going to depend on how quickly things get filed and how fast a court can process things, obviously, but approximately 6 months or so from filing.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Just following up with you. Did you need clarification or additional information about my answer? If so, please reply, I'm happy to assist further. Otherwise, please remember to leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars, as experts are not employees of this site and we are only paid if you leave a positive rating. Thank you.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Was there any additional information I could provide you about my answer?