Benefits of Legal Separation
In California, married parties whose relationship is deteriorating have the option of pursuing a middle ground between staying together and ending the marriage in divorce. Parties can enter into a legal separation, which results in the parties living separately but remaining legally married. The parties can implement a legal separation agreement and have a court establish the rights and responsibilities of each party, much like a divorce proceeding. Below, we discuss some of the advantages of pursuing legal separation in lieu of or in advance of divorce. Call a knowledgeable Claremont legal separation attorney to discuss your marriage and whether a legal separation would benefit you and your family.
Keep open the possibility of reconciling
Divorce is final. The legal relationship between the parties will be ended, and final determinations concerning the apportionment of personal property, real estate, and other assets will be made, as well as child custody, alimony, and other issues. If the couple is experiencing marital issues but believes that reconciliation is possible, legal separation allows the parties to live apart, work on their personal and common issues, and give divorced life a test run. If the parties are able to resolve their issues, then reconciliation is still a possibility.
Keep healthcare and other benefits
Divorce ends the legal relationship between the married parties. Medical insurance, employment benefits, and other legal rights earned by one party will no longer automatically apply to the other. Legal separation allows the parties to live separately and start the next chapter of their lives without leaving one spouse uncovered and unprotected, should something unfortunate occur.
Joint tax filing
Married couples enjoy many benefits beyond healthcare. Joint tax filing can save families thousands of dollars every year depending on their circumstances. By entering legal separation, a married couple can separate while still retaining their ability to file their taxes jointly, benefiting the finances of both parties.
Marital time accrual for social security and other benefits
Even when parties know that divorce is on the horizon, there may be reasons to stay legally married for a few more years. Social security, veteran’s benefits, and other benefits may go to spouses and even former spouses, so long as the marriage lasted a sufficient period of time. Legal separation allows the parties to start moving on with their lives without ruining eligibility for a variety of benefits.
A separation agreement can form the base of a divorce settlement
Parties who legally separate can enter into a detailed separation agreement addressing matters such as child custody, child support, alimony, and even the division of marital property. If the parties ultimately divorce, that separation agreement can be used as a basis for the final settlement agreement, and any issues that arise during separation can inform the parties when negotiating or mediating toward a settlement.
Avoid religious issues
For some couples and individuals, the prospect of divorce carries additional complications. Legal separation allows married couples to get away from a problematic relationship without triggering any of the stigma of divorce in their religious community.
Call a dedicated California family law attorney at Blasser Law for help with a separation, divorce, or other California family law issues. The passionate and experienced Claremont divorce legal team at Blasser Law are ready to assist clients with any family law concerns in the San Gabriel Valley or Los Angeles County. Contact our family law office at 877-927-2181.