Everything you need to Know about Legal Separation in California
The most asked question when it comes to legal separation is whether it is a step towards divorce. Most people think that they have to be legally separated first before filing for a divorce in California, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. A marital separation agreement is guided by the state’s family law to sort of give spouses a break from the marriage without severing the union.
To seek legal separation, a spouse will only be required to prove ‘no fault.’ In other words, the other party will not need to be as fault as would necessitate a divorce.
Requirements for Legal Separation in California
You will not need to prove residency, which means you will not have to be a residence of the state. In divorce cases, you will be required to be a resident of the state you are filing at for at least three months or six in California. While spouses can file a marital separation agreement in California right away without waiting for the stipulated period, children will be required to meet residency status except during emergencies. This may not work for those seeking visitation or custody orders.
Unlike marriage dissolution, there is no waiting period for legal separation. As long as parties to a legal separation have their California marital separation agreements, the court will issue the order sooner than it would an order to dissolve a marriage.
Issues Covered in a Legal Separation
The Californian legal system deals with these issues as far as legal separation goes;
Child Support-There are guidelines in place to calculate the amount to allocate for child support based on how much each of the parents earns and the fraction of time spent with each of them.
Child Visitation-this involves scheduling how the parents spend time with the children, including vacation and holidays.
Child Custody-This involves giving rights to the parents pertaining decisions affecting the child. These decisions include where the child lives and where they go to school.
Spousal Support-Also called alimony. This will be the issue of how much support should be given to the dependent spouse, how long it should be given, and whether or not the support is appropriate or sufficient.
Debt Allocation-The obligations of the couple will be split. This includes tax debts, personal loans, credit card debts, and any other owed obligation.
Property Division-Property is everything owned by the couple from bank accounts to real estate, furniture, and furnishings. They will all be divided.
Attorney Fees-usually, each spouse should pay their lawyers, but some circumstances lead to the burden being shared. If legal costs of the spouses are too high, then the other may be required to chip in or when the other party misbehaved during the legal proceedings and is fined.
After filing the required agreements, the two will be issued with a Judgment of Legal Separation that will be binding, and they will leave separate lives but stay married. If they decide to dissolve the marriage, then they will be required to file new documents for dissolution of marriage.
Which is the Better Option?
This is entirely up to you. Some people may choose legal separation to continue sharing health insurance or military benefits. Others may find it palatable due to the stigma that comes with divorce among the religious. Still, some may take the opportunity to see whether they can salvage their marriage. It’s all differs from one case to the other.
We do hope that this info sheds some light on your options. If this makes everything clear, feel free to prepare a copy of marital separation agreement through the options given above on our website.
Whether you live in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, Oakland, Bakersfield or any other city of California, you can use our legal forms easily.