Even though you may not have the status as a spouse because your marriage was void or voidable, you might have the status of a putative spouse which means that you believed, in good faith, that your marriage was valid (not void or voidable).
In the event that the court finds that you are a putative spouse, you will be treated as though you were a spouse with respect to property, support rights, custody and attorney fees.
You will only be a putative spouse if you did not know of the defect in the marriage and were acting in good faith. The putative spouse doctrine only applies in nullity proceedings, not dissolution or separation proceedings.
There are many ways to obtain assistance through this process. There are self-help clinics, non-profit organizations, private attorneys, tax-payer based family law services, mental health professionals, mediators, arbitrators, parenting coaches, accountants, friends, family, internet resources, books, periodicals, State Bar of California resources, document preparers, school officials, and law enforcement agencies.
We are private attorneys and we are a boutique family law and litigation firm in Sherman Oaks, California serving clients from border to border. We appear both in state and federal courts. We are appear in both trial courts and appellate courts. Should you wish our assistance, please call us. We would be honored to help you.