Legal Separation Lawyers in Sacramento
Divorce is not always the right answer. Legal separation allows a married couple to legally move apart from and act independently without dissolving the partnership. The court will dictate the rights and responsibilities of each spouse during their time apart, but the couple can cancel the separation or file for a divorce at any time. If you have questions about the differences between a divorce and legal separation and which one is best for you, contact a Sacramento legal separation lawyer at Boyd Law to answer your questions and help you determine the right course of action moving forward.
Advantages of Legal Separation
Unlike a divorce, legal separation is not permanent. If a couple reconciles at a later date, they do not need to remarry to make their relationship official. Some people view legal separation as a trial period before deciding on a divorce. Others legally separate for financial, religious, or other reasons. For health insurance, tax filings, and children, it may make more sense for some couples to remain legally married.
While legal separations are not as common as divorces, they do work well for spouses going through a difficult period or those who are not sure about taking the final step towards divorce. Individuals can live in separate areas and make their own choices in life as long as they abide by the terms of a separation agreement.
In many ways, the process of legally separating is remarkably similar to a divorce. For example, if the couple decides to move forward with the break up at a later date, they have probably already worked through the issues that commonly cause problems in legal proceedings.
Once granted, the separation takes effect immediately. Unlike a divorce, you do not have to wait a certain period of time to legally separate.
Disadvantages of Legal Separation
During a legal separation, the state does not consider you “single” under the law, and you cannot remarry. You can technically date while legally separated, but doing so may jeopardize the negotiated terms of your separation and divorce. You may want to ask your Sacramento, CA legal separation attorney about the potential consequences of going out while legally separated.
Legal Separation in California
To legally separate, one spouse must first petition the court and work out the terms of the split. As with a divorce, you need only cite irreconcilable differences for the court to grant legal separation. You do not have to meet the same residency requirements for a divorce to file for legal separation, but you may want to file for legal separation in the same county you would qualify for a divorce.
Some couples remain legally separated while they wait to qualify for a divorce. The terms of a legal separation are determined in the same way as a divorce. Partners need to work out how to divide property assets, alimony, child custody + child support, and debt obligations.
Reconciling Differences Before and During Legal Separation
If you and your spouse cannot agree to the terms of a legal separation, you may either use a mediator or allow the courts to make a decision on your behalf. A mediator facilitates the dialogue between two parties so they can agree on a resolution. Couples prepared to find common ground may find this form of negotiation more helpful than a stringent court order.
Finding a Legal Separation Attorney in Sacramento
Although you may have no intention of filing for divorce at the time, consider retaining the services of a qualified Sacramento family lawyer to help you through a legal separation. The terms of such a proceeding may affect the outcome of a future split. The Sacramento legal separation attorneys at Boyd Law assist individuals in every aspect of family law, including mediation, legal separation filings, child visitation, child custody hearings, relocation, step parent adoption, property settlement, alimony, and divorce. Schedule a free consultation regarding legal separation in California, and reach out to our Sacramento office for more information.