Must Know Things about Legal Separation

When you and your spouse live apart without abolishing your marriage, it is termed as a separation. And when your separation is formally recognized by the court it is called a legal separation. This procedure changes marital obligations toward one another and you still are liable for several protections and benefits. In this article, we shall take a brief overview of legal separation.

How do legal separation and divorce differs?

Couples often tend to get a legal separation as a better alternative to divorce. Unlike a divorce that permanently ends a marriage, a legal separation does not. It keeps your marital status in place. But in case of legal separation, the court divides property debts, etc, and also resolve the issues of child custody, support, and alimony as done in a divorce case. You are entitled to certain rights and protections when you are legally separated, which may not happen when you are divorced.

Read more about the Difference between Legal Separation and Divorce

What are the advantages of a legal separation?

There are many advantages of getting a legal separation in California:

  • If you are not ready for legal divorce with your spouse and just need some time apart, then you can look to get a legal separation in place.
  • You may continue to receive social security benefits from your spouse’s work record or his/her health insurance coverage.
  • You may also get tax benefits by continuing to file for taxes jointly.
  • As a couple, you and your spouse can get enough time to think that is it a divorce that you really want or not.

What are the reasons for legal separation?

In California, you do not require a specific reason for getting a divorce. Likewise, you can easily obtain a legal separation without giving a specific reason for wanting one. Just like in a divorce, the concept of ‘no-fault’ applies to legal separation also. The irreconcilable difference is one of the reasons for applying for a legal separation, which also is an obvious reason for getting a divorce. This means that the marriage has broken down and either of you believes that continuing the relationship with each other won’t be good. Another reason which is quite rare for a legal separation is permanent legal incapacity to make decisions.

What issues does a legal separation cover?

Some of the basic issues that legal separation in California covers include:

  • Child Custody: this will determine that who among you both will have decision-making rights about the children and who will they live with.
  • Child Visitation and Support: this will determine the everyday parenting schedule, that will include the vacations too. The court would calculate the child support after determining the income of each parent. The court would also consider the time that each of the parents gives to the child.
  • Spousal Support: this refers directly to the determination of alimony and its sub-issues. These include the amount of alimony paid for the support and the duration for which these are paid.
  • Property Division: in this, the division of the property would be appropriately done. This includes everything owned, from bank accounts, and real property, to the furniture, furnishings, and appliances.

You can also take the agreement of legal separation as the basis of getting a divorce in the future. And in place of bearing the expenses of an attorney, you can simply look for document preparation services for a legal separation in California. These services ensure that the legal separation procedure is done in a less costly manner.

Help4You offers paralegal services in Orange County that can help you in preparing and filing documents needed for legal separation.



Disclosure: We are not attorneys. We can only provide self-help services at your specific direction. Help4You Documents Services are owned / operated by legal document assistant, who are not lawyers, cannot represent customers, select legal forms or give advice on rights or laws. Services are provided at customers request and are not a substitute for advice of a lawyer. Prices do not include court costs.
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