Free California Marital Separation Agreement

Legal Separation in California

In California, the process for Legal Separation and Divorce are exactly the same. Some couples decide to live separate and apart, but prefer their marital status remains “legally married.” Legal Separation in California is similar to a divorce, in that the couple leads separate lives, but the difference is in the end of the Legal Separation process, the parties are still legally married.

Why Choose Legal Separation and Not Divorce?

There are many reasons couples choose Legal Separation including:

Unsure of Divorce

Couples may be unsure of whether they want to proceed through to divorce. A Legal Separation may give you the space and time to work out and resolve your marital issues, and potentially reconcile. Unlike a divorce that is final and terminates the marriage.

Lack Residency Requirements

In California, in order to file for divorce, the couple must have lived in the state for at least 6 months, and must have lived in the county in which they are filing for divorce for at least 3 months. Couples may choose to separate while they wait to meet the residency requirements to file for a divorce. You are able to file for Legal Separation if you have lived in California for less than 6 months, and then convert it to a divorce proceeding once you have met the residency requirement.

Retain Marital Benefits.

Some people file for legal separation to keep the marital benefits such as health insurance, military benefits, and the ability to file tax returns as a married couple, that they would otherwise lose if they filed for divorce.

Religious Reasons

Legal Separation in California is also an option for those whose religious beliefs are against divorce.

Why is a Separation Agreement So Important?

Whether you choose Legal Separation or divorce, both require agreements among the parties and court ruling. Separating couples use a Separation Agreement to outline each party’s responsibilities during the separation period, in terms of child support and child custody, property division and financial responsibilities. Creating your own Separation Agreement allows you to set the terms for your separation, rather than the court deciding everything for you.

Reasons for Wanting a Separation Agreement

  • Without a written agreement between the separating couple, neither party is legally bound to share the responsibilities during the separation. Oral agreements between spouses are not enforceable in a court. Creating your own Separation Agreement enables you to decide the terms for the separation.

    • You decide how to divide your marital property

    • You decide on child and spousal support, if applicable

    • You decide a child custody schedule

Elements of a Separation Agreement

  • The common terms covered in a California Separation Agreement include:

    • Child support, custody and visitation

    • Alimony/spousal support

    • Property division (cars, jewelry, and intangible property)

    • Pensions

    • Life insurance

    • Debts

Whether you decide to separate temporarily, permanently, or proceed to divorce, a California Legal Separation Agreement, like the one that we offer above, may be the most important step you take. We offer free Marital Separation Agreement templates and on-line samples to make the process of Marital Separation in California that much faster.

Whether you live in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, Oakland, Bakersfield or any other city in California, you can easily create a Legal Separation Agreement above.