Your marriage is on tenterhooks, and you aren’t sure what to do next. The obvious step is to consider reconciliation, if possible. If you have decided to move on, you have two options as a resident of California – legal separation and divorce. People are often confused between the two. Every person’s situation is unique, and it’s always wise to consult a family lawyer to understand what may work best for your circumstances. In this post, we are sharing some key details about legal separation and divorce.
What is a legal separation?
California is one of the many states that allow for legal separation. Through legal separation, you and your spouse can decide to separate legally and carry on with your lives as you would want. Both people can mutually decide who is responsible for debts, assets, child custody, and other aspects. If the spouses decide to come together again, they can do so at their will.
Is legal separation right for you?
There are many circumstances when a legal separation could be a better alternative to a divorce. For instance, if you aren’t sure whether you want a divorce right away, you can consider legal separation to live apart. It also allows you to decide and define matters related to finance, parenting, and everything. Many religious sects may prohibit divorces, and for couples of such beliefs, a legal separation is a better choice. Also, you can also choose to stay on your partner’s health insurance plan and continue to receive tax and government benefits. You (or your spouse) need to be a legal resident of the state before initiating legal separation.
What is a divorce?
A divorce is the absolute dissolution of marriage. After the dissolution of marriage, you are allowed to remarry and continue to live on your terms. Just like in a legal separation, you are expected to resolve key issues like finance, alimony or spousal support, child custody, and child support.
Talk to a lawyer
Both divorce and legal separation have a few pros and cons, and it all depends on where you stand in your marriage. Your lawyer can advise you on your rights and explain whether you would benefit more from one option. Ensure that you don’t rush through the process, and when possible, try and resolve things amicably with your spouse to complete the proceedings. If you don’t know whether you want to end the marriage, a legal separation is a good trial option.