Have you ever wondered what the difference is between legal separation and divorce? California state law is specific in regard to divorce and legal separation. In California, it take six months to become divorced. A legal separation is the filing of court documents that can immediately affect almost every legal aspect of your marriage: division of property, alimony, child support, child custody, etc – but there are several significant differences from a divorce. The most important differences are that both spouses must agree to a legal separation and many legal obligations will remain in place although you are no longer living as a married couple. Reasons a legal separation may be preferred over a divorce:
- Religious beliefs
- Neither party plans to remarry
- Extending the time period of marriage in order to receive benefits such as medical insurance or Social Security
- Allowing one party’s residence in the state to accrue long enough to allow for a divorce filing
If divorce is the right option in your case, consider a mediated divorce. Divorce mediation is a voluntary process that allows couples to resolve their marital issues outside the court system. Please call me for a confidential discussion about divorce mediation so that you have a clear understanding of your options.
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