What Is Legal Separation?
California offers you the option of a legal separation if you and your spouse want to live apart, but do not want to go through a divorce process at this time.
At States Family Family in Sacramento, I handle both legal separation and divorce. Call 916-696-2425 to arrange an attorney consultation.
What Issues Are Involved in Legal Separation?
In California, the issues and process for legal separation are exactly the same as a divorce. The only difference is that you will still be married at the end.
The issues involved in legal separation include:
- Division of community property, including retirement benefits
- Child custody, visitation and support
- Spousal support (also known as alimony)
Can I Keep My Spouse on My Medical Benefits if We Separate?
As a rule, health insurers will not allow you to cover your spouse under your group medical plan if you are legally separated. There are many misunderstandings about legal separation, and it is important to discuss your situation and your goals with an experienced lawyer.
Most people who choose legal separation do so for religious reasons or because they are not yet ready for divorce.
Features of Legal Separation
Legal separation stops the acquisition of community property assets and debts, as of the date of separation, just like divorce. All custody, support, property division, fees and other issues are addressed in the judgment, leaving only the status of marriage left intact. There is 6-month no waiting period for a legal separation judgment.
Legal separation is often requested temporarily by parties who do not yet qualify to file for divorce in their current place of residence. (A petitioner must reside for 6 months in the state of California and 3 months in the county prior to filing for dissolution of marriage.) If the Petition indicates intent to amend upon satisfying the residency requirement, then the 6-month waiting period for the divorce can run while the 6-month residency period runs concurrently.
Other people choose legal separation for religious reasons or because they are not yet ready for divorce, but need court orders for support, custody, etc. If a divorce is desired after a judgment of legal separation is granted, a new case must be started, with a 6-month waiting period.
For More Information About Legal Separation
To discuss legal separation with a skilled and experienced attorney, call me at 916-696-2425, or fill out my online contact form.