Separation vs divorce in california

When a couple has decided to take legal steps to separate, there are a few decisions to be made and some complex steps to take. The Law Offices of Bruce A.

Legal Separation or Divorce: Which is Better Financially?

Mandel can expertly guide you during this difficult transition in your life. A legal separation is similar in some ways to divorce, in that there are still negotiations to be made. A legal separation agreement covers the same issues that are covered in the final divorce decree. Not all states allow legal separations, but California is one that does. Your spouse needs to agree to it or at least default after you have served him with your petition. If he does not consent you may have to file for divorce instead.

On that note, legal separation is not a decision to be made lightly.

Legal Separation vs. Divorce - Families First Mediation

There is no waiting period for a legal separation, whereas when you file for divorce, you need to wait six months before it becomes final. You must be a resident in the state for six months before you file for divorce. The term legal when referring to separation is just that. The negotiations are like divorce in terms of child custody and support , visitation, spousal support and division of property. Consulting a financial adviser as well as a trusted local Torrance attorney who knows the local courts is in your best interest.

Both legal separation and divorce require the same grounds to file. Aside from the residency requirements, you must choose the reason for your petition, whether it is irreconcilable differences or the incurable insanity of your spouse. A Torrance divorce attorney can explain what your options are and the pros and cons of each potential course of action.

Either option is a tough choice.

General Questions

It is a trying time of your life and getting competent legal assistance will help things go smoothly for you. Some people choose legal separation for a specific period and others choose it as a gateway to the final divorce. Marriage affords benefits and ties which for various reasons some couples choose to keep. It is important when living apart from your spouse to separate legally with a formal written agreement. A written agreement addresses the issues of spousal debt that you might be liable for during the separation.

You must document how you will share marital assets, joint credit cards and who pays for each obligation and bill. Our clients seek the assistance of our Torrance law offices to avoid problems down the road leading to further legal costs. When a couple remains separated for a lengthy amount of time, such as months or years, it becomes even more necessary to legally protect their interests. The two legal procedures are both complicated.

Utilizing the services of an experienced Torrance attorney who is familiar with the process, paperwork, and terms involved is vital. Each procedure follows a similar course which starts with filing a petition. You then disclose your financial details and position to your spouse and the court. In both situations, you can arrive at a settlement agreement to resolve financial and other legal decisions or go into the court to decide them. Either way, a skilled Torrance attorney will help you emerge informed and making the right choices.

Attorney Bruce A. By submitting this form, you agree to Findlaw. We respect your privacy. A legal separation , is a court order that mandates the rights and duties of a couple while they are still married, but living apart; in a divorce, the spouses are no longer married.

Although legal separations aren't very common, they can be helpful especially while the spouses work through any personal or financial issues affecting the marriage. Because there are advantages and disadvantages to both processes, there are many things to consider when contemplating legal separation vs.

What Does it Mean to be Legally Separated in California?

There are key differences between a separation and divorce. The most basic and obvious distinction is that you remain married during a legal separation and in a divorce, your marriage is dissolved. Other differences include:. In both divorce proceedings and in the proceedings for legal separation, the court decides the following:. Circumstances may arise that lead to couples living apart with no intent to continue the marriage. Additionally, some states have laws that require couples seeking to file a no-fault divorce to live apart for a designated period of time.

If this occurs, there are three options under California law: annulling the marriage; a legal separation or a divorce. There are important differences between these options, and you need to understand the rules for legal separation vs. Call today to learn more about how we can represent you and protect your rights as you take the important step to move forward with your life. The main difference between legal separation vs.

Legal Information: California

This means that you are no longer considered legally wed for tax purposes or for any other reason. When you have formally dissolved your marriage through the divorce process, each spouse can remarry someone new. If you decide you wish to get back together with your ex who you divorced, you will need to get a new marriage license and formally remarry each other.


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A legal separation, on the other hand, does not legally and permanently dissolve your union. It allows you to separate temporarily and put an agreement in place that sets the rules for the separation. The agreement can address issues of custody, financial support and temporary division of assets. For example, your legal separation agreement could specify who gets to stay in the family house, how the home mortgage and other bills are paid, and where children will spend their time.

If you legally separate and decide to get back together, you do not need to remarry as you would if you were divorced.