The Ins-and-Outs of Legal Separation in California
Unbeknownst to a significant number of residents living in the Golden State, filing for legal separation is similar to the divorce process, the primary difference being that the parties’ marital status does not end upon division of marital assets and debts. Put succinctly, the “legal separation” process in California allows couples to lead separate lives, though the marital status isn’t eradicated; the petitioner must file a petition for legal separation, and the respondent must file a response – or the matter proceeds by default. What’s more, both parties must exchange disclosures, which are considered mandatory, and the same process applies when it comes time to divide assets. A California legal separation judge makes a final determination should the parties not be able to agree as to how the marital estate should be divided.
The Difference Between Judgement of Legal Separation and Date of Separation
The “judgement of legal separation” refers to the marital estate of the parties requesting legal separation, while the “date of separation” establishes a spouse’s intent with regard to continuing a marriage – thus normally creating a rift in the marital relationship. The judgement of legal separation, in a legal separation process in California, addresses the division of the marital estate upon the finalization of the legal separation status; a good example of this is a judgement stating how a community property home is to be divided, in addition to other debts and assets (and can include the resolution of child custody matters).
The date of separation is used to determine each spouse’s community and separate property interest, and according to California law, property acquired by the community prior to the date of separation is divided 50/50 between the partners, unless the parties agree to a different division amongst one another.
How Long it Takes to Achieve a Legal Separation in California
There are no residency requirements to fulfill prior to filing for legal separation in California; the date of separation takes effect immediately (this specifically refers to couples that are physically separating or when they are no longer participating in husband and wife duties). The legal separation can be completed prior to what is known as a “six month minimum time frame,” within which a divorce would take. The reason for this is that there is no marriage termination date in a legal separation.
Advantages of Legal Separation
On the top of the advantage list is an obvious one: Legal separation, unlike divorce, is not definite. This allows a couple time, opportunity and legal protections while considering the possibility of completely severing the relationship with their spouse through an official divorce. There are also some individuals who want to remain married but file for legal separation to keep their married legal status to each other for immigration or healthcare factors.
Your Divorce Lawyer Roseville
If you are considering filing for California legal separation, look to the experts in divorce law Sacramento has been waiting for: McKean Family Law. We have the divorce lawyer Roseville residents seek when separation is on the table.