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Why might I consider a legal separation instead of divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2020 | Divorce

Like many other states, California allows for what the law refers to as a legal separation instead of a divorce.

In practice, Los Angeles residents can seek and receive a legal separation for the same reasons they are allowed to divorce, as Californians can ask for a legal separation because of irreconcilable differences between the spouses.

A legal separation works basically the same as would a divorce. Unless the couple resolves their differences through negotiation and submits their agreement to the court, a judge will decide issues like property division, child custody and support, spousal support and other issues.

The key differences between legal separation and a divorce are that, following a legal separation, the couple remains legally married and, thus, are not free to re-marry under California law.

In most cases, a legal separation can be converted into a divorce proceeding.

Furthermore, unlike a divorce, a couple does not have to wait several months before filing a request for legal separation.

People seek out legal separations for a number of reasons

One obvious advantage to a legal separation is that a person who needs ongoing protection can get the process started more quickly than a divorce since there is no waiting period to file.

A couple also may have religious or moral reasons for pursuing a legal separation instead of a divorce. Sometimes, a couple may not want to divorce because of their own emotional state or because they worry about their children.

In cases, it may even make more sense from a financial standpoint for a couple to legally separate without getting a divorce.

In any event, those considering a legal separation may wish to speak with an experienced family law attorney about the process.