FAQ: Legal Separation
What is a legal separation?
A legal separation is a process where you and your spouse divide all property and debt, set up support payments (spousal and child), and settle custody and visitation but you do not end the marriage and become single people. A separation will end the financial community, so you will stop accumulating community property and community debt. A legal separation does not end your marriage. For legal purposes, including taxes and remarriage, you are still married.
How do you get a legal separation?
Filing for a separation is very similar to filing for a divorce. You will use the same forms, including the FL-100, to file. Instead of checking the boxes for “dissolution” or “divorce” you check the boxes for “legal separation.”
You will follow the same steps in filing, serving the other party, and going through the court. You will handle the same issues that are handled in divorce, like custody and vitiation and support.
Why get a legal separation?
There are a lot of reasons someone might get a separation rather than a divorce. Some of the common ones are:
- Religious reasons
- Personal beliefs
- Financial reasons
How is a legal separation different than a divorce?
The main way a separation is different from a divorce is that when a separation is granted, you are still legally married. You are not a single person. You cannot remarry if you have gotten a legal separation but not a divorce.
Another difference is that you can file for a separation without meeting
the same residency requirements that are needed for a divorce. You can
file for a separation in
California if you are a resident here. To file for a divorce, you must have lived in California for at least six months and in the county for at least three months.
What if I decide that I want to get divorced?
In certain cases, a separation can be amended to become a divorce.
To learn more about legal separation, contact Romanovska Law.