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CALIFORNIA: Putative Spouse Must be Innocent

Conflict in Qualification of Putative Spouse In California

A party to an invalid marriage may receive the spousal support and one-half of  the community property, if the marriage is  “putative”.  A “putative marriage” is created when both or either spouses believe in good faith that the marriage is valid.

In  “In re the Marriage of GUO and SUN“,  filed July 28, 2010, the Appellate Court of  California  in Los Angeles determined that a “putative marriage” exists when the  “innocent spouse” believes in its validity. This decision contradicts the decision  of “In re Marriage of Tejeda”, by the California Appellate Court in Santa Cruz,  filed November 25, 2009,  which determined that if one spouse is found to be putative, the marriage becomes putative.

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