The Implications of a Legal Separation in California

Many people believe that the main difference between a divorce and a legal separation in California is that a legal separation involves a temporary split while divorce is considered to be permanent. Although a separation establishes certain agreements that could later be used in a divorce, a legal separation is far more than just a temporary split. Some of the most important aspects of a legal separation are highlighted below.

Legal Separations in California

Legal separations in California are formed through a separation judgment. If applicable, the following condition could apply under a court ordered legal separation:

  • Divide the assets of the couple,
  • Divide the debts of the couple,
  • Make court orders regarding child support, child custody, and/or alimony,
  • Yet the individuals involved will continue to be legally married

When a couple enters into a legal separation, there are important components that should be highlighted. A few of these are described as followed:

The Inability to RemarryA person who has not legally and officially terminated his or her marriage through a divorce will not be able to legally enter into a new marriage. Similarly, the person will not be able to enter into a new domestic partnership. This is because the marital status of the person has not been changed after a separation.

Seeking Protecting Orders – During a legal separation proceeding, a person can ask the court to grant him or her a protective order.

Immediate Results – Unlike a divorce, legal separations will take effect immediately when the judgment has been ordered.

Individuals Unable to Meet Residency Requirements – Before a divorce procedure can take place in California, at least one of the parties must meet the residency requirements of his or her county where the filing is taking place. In a legal separation, however, there are no residency requirements.

The Complexity of a Legal Separation

There are many reasons as to why a couple would refuse to divorce but would rather prefer to obtain a legal separation. Some of the most common reasons involve for insurance benefits, religious reasons, or for tax filing reasons.

If you are going through a separation and are unsure if a divorce or legal separation is right for you, consider seeking the legal advice of a qualified attorney who has experience in family law. Deciding whether or not to file for a legal separation is not a matter that should be taken swiftly. Although legal separations in California can be filed under the proper county of the petitioner, it is important to seek guidance and support from an attorney who has experience in the matter.

The attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP are experienced in the field of legal separation cases. They are dedicated to representing the rights of their clients and are devoted to ensure that every case is tailored to suit the needs of each client. The Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP firm will review the agreement in its entirety and ensure that the document outlines the best interests of the client. For more information on the filing process or other concerns, contact an attorney who can assist you straightaway.