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Legal Separation in California FAQ

When your marriage is no longer benefiting you and instead brings you stress and worry, it may be time to bring it to an end. If an annulment is out of the question due to legal statutes and you are not entirely committed to the idea and permanence of a divorce, a legal separation may be the option for you. Like a divorce, a legal separation in California does not have to be a mutual decision, which is to say only one spouse needs to initiate the separation. Furthermore, the other spouse cannot do anything to inhibit the separation, including the refusal to comply with court proceedings.

The concept of a legal separation can still be quite foreign to many people, however, due to the prevalence of divorce in our culture. If you do not quite understand how the process works, the following legal separation FAQ should prove useful. For assistance from a Riverside County divorce attorney, you can contact Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich at 951.687.6003 and request a free initial consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Legal Separation

  1. Why should I choose legal separation?
    Legal separation is often used when people want to end their marriage but cannot or will not file for divorce. Some people do not want to divorce due to religious beliefs, personal convictions, residency requirements, or financial concerns. Since legal separation does not legally end the marriage but provides all the same benefits as a divorce, it can be seen as an amicable replacement.
  2. Can my legal separation be turned into a full divorce?
    Yes, a legal separation in California can ultimately be transitioned into an actual divorce. During a legal separation, each partner should receive court orders pertaining to child custody, child support, and property division, even though the marriage did not legally terminate. All of those preexisting court orders created in your legal separation can make the transition to divorce much easier and faster.
  3. Can I get married to someone else while legally separated from my spouse?
    In California, marriages and domestic partnerships are considered legitimate legal contracts that require your compliance. You cannot enter a new contract without first officially terminating the preexisting one. In other words, you cannot marry someone else while you are legally separated from your spouse, you can only lead separate personal lives. If you want to marry a new spouse, you will need to end your first marriage by turning your legal separation into divorce (see above).
  4. Can my spouse and I remarry one another after becoming legally separated?
    Since you never officially ended your marriage, you and your spouse do not need to get married again. Instead, you will both need to agree to end your legal separation and notify the court together. You both should come to the court at the same time to announce the end of your legal separation. It is useful to proceed with the help of a divorce attorney to ensure that no new complications arise.
  5. How do I file for legal separation in California?
    Filing for legal separation is much like filing for a divorce in California. You will need to gather appropriate paperwork, fill it out to completion, and file it with the right court or clerk. To move forward with your case, speak with a Riverside County family lawyer from Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich by calling (951) 506-6654 today.

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