I am submitting this question for my brother. He was in what he believed was a legal marriage for about 24 years. Upon doing research earlier this year for divorce, he discovered his wife had been previously married and her marriage had not been legally dissolved when they got married. Consequently, the judge granted him an annulment. Now his ex is counter filing for Palimony. she is trying to get some kind of monetary award such as support and asking for attorneys fees. Does she even have a leg to stand on?
2 Answers from Attorneys
She may. The Family Code recognizes what is called a "putative marriage" in some cases of a void marriage. Whether she really has a case or not is not something that can be evaluated in an internet Q&A format. There are WAY too many details that go into the analysis. He really needs to sit down with an attorney who has handled these kinds of invalid marriages and go over every detail to figure out where he stands. Co-incidentally I have just wrapped up one of these "divorce not final" cases in Solano County. So if his zip code is the same or close to your's, or he is anywhere in the greater San Francisco to Sacramento area, I'd be happy to give him a discounted initial consultation in my Walnut Creek office or one of my other conference facilities in the area.
I agree with Mr. McCormick. There are many legal issues presented here, one of which that I can see is whether or not the wife was a putative spouse, or whether this was waived by failing to raise the issue in the annulment.