While divorce is common in the US, it is not always the best option for couples who wish to legally separate. Rather, California offers options for legal separation that do not extend to full-fledged divorce. In some cases, legal separation may be preferable to finalizing a divorce. The experienced attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center can help you determine if a legal separation is in your best interests.
What is ‘Legal Separation’ in California?
Legal separation is very similar to divorce, with many of the same considerations such as child custody, support, and visitation, as well as property division. However, a legal separation does not put an end to the marriage. Rather, it enables you to live separately but remain legally married. Therefore, someone who is legally separated could not remarry but would be able to live a separate life. For those who are not ready for the finality of divorce, legal separation may be a good option.
Benefits of Legal Separation
Besides keeping your marriage intact, a legal separation offers a few other benefits. For example, insurance coverage for both parties remain intact, religious beliefs are respected, and, as with divorce, assets acquired after the separation do not become part of the community property. Thus, if you did divorce later or one partner declared bankruptcy, assets collected by the other party during the separation would not be considered marital assets. Aside from legal benefits, legal separation can also allow couples time apart and away from the conflict of the marriage, giving them time to decide if divorce is what they truly want. Before jumping into an expensive divorce, it is important to consider other options like legal separation, which offer some of the same legal benefits without the end of the marriage.
How Do I Get a Legal Separation in California?
Many of the same issues that arise during divorce such as child custody and property division must also be addressed when filing for a legal separation. Just as with divorce, it is important to seek the experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel of California divorce attorneys like those at the Men’s Legal Center.
Men who are contemplating legal separation should ensure that their interests and legal rights are protected. Protecting your custody rights and assets is just as important in a legal separation as it is in a divorce. Do not hesitate to seek legal counsel, even if divorce is not yet on the table. If you are contemplating a legal separation, contact the attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center today for an initial consultation.