Carlsbad Family Law Attorneys
Legal Separation
Compassionate in Our Approach, Decisive in Our Strategy
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How Is Legal Separation Different Than Divorce In California?

A legal separation is the separation of a “community relationship” as recognized by California law. The main difference between a dissolution (divorce) and a legal separation in California is that with a legal separation, the status of the marriage is not terminated. While the division of assets and debtsspousal supportchild support, and child custody orders may be made, the parties remain a married couple.

Need to consult an attorney about legal separation in San Diego or North County? Call 858-951-1526 now or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation!

Benefits Of Choosing Separation Over Divorce

There are a few reasons why filing for legal separation as opposed to a dissolution might be a better fit for you:

  1. You want a divorce in California but do not yet meet the residency requirements to file in the state. California law requires that a party filing for divorce must be a resident of California for six months preceding the date of filing and a resident of the County in which they choose to file for the preceding three months. A Petition for Legal Separation does not have the same jurisdictional limitations. If you want a divorce but do not meet the time requirements, you can file for legal separation, wait until you meet the requirements, and then amend your Petition to a dissolution.
  2. You are considering a divorce and want to live separate lives while determining whether or not a divorce is right for you. By filing for legal separation, you are separating yourself financially from your spouse. Perhaps your spouse has a gambling or spending problem and you want him/her to work on it before you decide on divorce. By filing for legal separation, you can insulate your personal liability associated with the financial waste of your spouse. If you physically separate, you can also obtain orders for the co-parenting schedule of minor children as well as financial support orders.
  3. You cannot afford to lose your spouse’s employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. Depending on the sponsoring health insurance plan, so long as you are not actually divorced from your spouse, you are entitled to remain on his/her employer-sponsored health insurance plan. Often you will see parties who are seeking a divorce purposefully delay their termination of marital status date in order to provide a longer financial transition period for the supported spouse.
  4. You belong to a religion that does not recognize divorce. If you devoutly practice a religion that does not believe in or condone divorce, and you do not want to compromise your religious beliefs for the sake of divorce, separation may be an alternative option.

If you are considering divorce or legal separation in San Diego County and would like to discuss how a legal separation may or may not be right to meet your particular needs, give us a call at Griffith, Young & Lass. We would be happy to schedule a consultation during which we can review the details of your situation to determine what’s best for you.

Reach our Carlsbad separation lawyers at Griffith, Young & Lass. Submit an online contact form or dial 858-951-1526.