If you need to speak with a San Diego divorce attorney regarding the process to obtain a legal separation, Steven M. Bishop, a Certified Family Law Specialist, can help. We represent people throughout Southern California in a wide range of family law matters, including legal separations. If you decide later in the process to get a divorce, we also effectively handle divorce cases.
What Is Legal Separation?
A Legal Separation is an alternative to divorce for people who do not want to immediately end their marriage, but cannot continue to live under the existing circumstances. After petitioning the court to recognize their separation a couple is considered legally separated.
Living apart does not necessarily create a legal separation. California recognizes legal documentation of separation through court-ordered separation agreements.
What Is A Separation Agreement?
A Separation Agreement is a legal document which details specific issues such as spousal support, child support and living arrangements agreed upon by both parties.
A Legal Separation attorney in San Diego will assist and draft the paperwork to the court so a judge can officially sign the agreement. If this document is not court-ordered, you may not receive maximum legal benefits.
How Is Legal Separation Different From Divorce?
A divorce is a final end to a marriage relationship which allows each party to marry a new husband or wife. Individuals who are legally separated are still married and may not remarry.
The proceedings are very similar in a Legal Separation. The husband and wife may develop their own agreements regarding division of property, child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support and more.
Although there are many similarities between legal separation and divorce, one common reason for a legal separation is to retain eligibility for medical insurance which would be lost with termination of the marriage.
What Do I Need To Do?
If you are in limbo and have been living apart, it is strongly recommended you draw up some form of Legal Separation Agreement. Having an attorney guide you through the process and advise you on your rights is an important first step. To speak with a lawyer, please contact our law office in San Diego by calling 619-304-8417 or fill out our online contact form.