If you are considering dissolving your marriage, you should know all of your options. California allows for legal separation as an intermediate step short of a final divorce. With legal separation, you have many of the protections of divorce, including spousal support and child support, but neither you nor your spouse is free to remarry.
The Law Offices of Steven E. Springer can explain the pros and cons of legal separation compared with a final divorce. With more than 30 years of combined family law experience, our attorneys have a thorough understanding of the law and its practical application to a wide variety of circumstances.
WHY CHOOSE LEGAL SEPARATION INSTEAD OF DIVORCE?
You may want to file for legal separation for one of several reasons:
Both spouses have not completely given up on the marriage but need time apart.
Both spouses cannot meet the California residency requirement for divorce.
One or both spouses have a religious objection to divorce.
One spouse is dependent on the other for benefits (such as health insurance) that would terminate upon divorce.
Military benefits would not vest if a divorce were finalized at this time.
If a final divorce is not appropriate for your circumstances, but you want the legal protections a divorce provides, a legal separation may be your best solution.
THE PROCESS OF LEGAL SEPARATION IN CALIFORNIA
Legal separation in California follows the same process as divorce: a petitioning spouse files with the court and the respondent spouse either answers or defaults. The caveat is that unless the answering spouse agrees, the couple cannot legally separate. In fact, the answering spouse may demand a divorce, in which case divorce proceedings would begin immediately. For that reason, it’s often better to negotiate the terms of the separation prior to filing to prevent unwelcome surprises.
EXPERIENCED SEPARATION ATTORNEYS IN SAN JOSE, CA
While it’s possible for a couple to live apart and still fulfill their responsibilities, a friendly agreement can easily break down. When a couple lives apart without a court-approved agreement, a dependent spouse has no protection. He or she cannot ask the court to enforce an agreement on support or custody that is not legally binding.
When you retain an experienced divorce attorney, you can negotiate a comprehensive separation agreement that protects you today and anticipates a wide range of potential circumstances. It pays to spend time with one of our legal separation lawyers in Morgan Hill, San Jose or Fremont to get a solid separation agreement because the court often uses them as the basis for divorce decrees later on.
LEGAL SEPARATION ATTORNEYS IN SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA
We recognize that detailed information and direct human contact with your lawyer go a long way to developing the confidence you need to see your situation through to a successful conclusion. That’s why we make every effort to engage with you personally, remain accessible, and deliver prompt results. For the information you need and the trusted advocacy you deserve to secure a legal separation, talk to our attorneys at The Law Offices of Steven E. Springer. Schedule a free consultation with us today.