Diamond Bar Family Law Attorneys Explain California Legal Separation Laws
Making the decision to divorce can be difficult and scary. You may be at an impasse in your relationship, but not yet ready to bring a permanent end to your marriage. There may also be other reasons why you don’t want to live with your spouse anymore but do not wish to divorce. Obtaining a legal separation may be the answer in certain situations, but entering into a legal separation still requires you to protect your interests, and the experienced California family law attorneys at Blasser Law can help.
What’s the difference between legal separation and divorce?
While a divorce marks the final end of a marriage, a legal separation is, essentially, a formal hiatus that allows you to stay married while becoming independent in certain ways from your spouse. Unlike a divorce, those who are legally separated may not enter into a new marriage. Additionally, both spouses must consent in order for the couple to be legally separated, but a spouse can file for divorce without consent from the other spouse. Nevertheless, legal separations offer certain advantages over simply living in a separate home from your spouse, such as the possibility of child or spousal support, determining how joint debts or a mortgage will be handled while you’re separated, and formally agreeing on how debts and assets that are acquired during the separation will be handled.
Why do some couples choose legal separation instead of divorce?
Some couples want to remain married but can no longer live in the same place, and they want the protections offered by a legal separation. For example, spouses who are legally separated can remain on their spouse’s health insurance and can even continue to use joint bank accounts and credit cards. A couple may want to separate legally while attempting to work through issues in their marriage, so that they can remain married while obtaining the protections afforded by a separation. Some spouses who are not yet citizens may also have concerns about how a divorce could affect their legal status in the country. Others may stay married for religious reasons. A legal separation can be converted into a divorce at a later date, should you and your spouse ultimately decide to separate for good.
Why do I need an attorney to help with my legal separation?
A legal separation should involve a formal legal separation agreement that lays out how you and your spouse will handle financial issues during a separation. There are ways in which a spouse could hurt your interests during a separation, such as by failing to make mortgage payments on a jointly-owned property, by racking up debts, or by spending from joint accounts. A legal separation agreement can clarify whether or not spouses may continue to access these joint accounts, and who is responsible for making payments on jointly-owned items. A legal separation agreement can also establish a monthly spousal or child support obligation, and can create an agreement to sell certain jointly-held assets. The family law attorneys at Blasser Law are experienced at creating fair, thorough separation agreements, and can help you create a legal separation that works for both spouses.
Talk to Experienced Diamond Bar Divorce Attorneys about Legal Separation
If you are considering a legal separation or divorce in Southern California, make sure that any agreements you enter into are fair, and ensure that your rights are protected by seeking representation from an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer. Contact the Diamond Bar family law attorneys at Blasser Law for a consultation, at 909-843-6363.