The Differences between a California Legal Separation and a California Divorce is that a California Legal Separation does not end your marriage. You can live apart from one another and remain married, and you can enter into an agreement to address the same issues you may be facing in a divorce.
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California Legal Separation
Should you be granted a California legal separation, you and your spouse will still be married and neither of you will be able to remarry. A California legal separation differs from a divorce where the marriage is ended and both you and your spouse are able to remarry.
A California legal separation is a court order that mandates the rights and duties of a couple while they are still married, but living apart. In a divorce, the spouses are no longer married. Legal separations are not too common, but can be helpful to a situation where the spouses want to work through any personal or financial issues affecting their marriage.
Other Issues Addressed in a California Legal Separation
In proceedings for a California legal separation, the court decides the following, much as it would in divorce proceedings, such as:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Child visitation
- Spousal support
- Property division
With a California legal separation you can enter into an agreement to address child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, and division of all assets and debts. By doing this, you can protect your interests until you make the decision for a divorce. The separation agreement also sets forth the parties’ intentions on the issues that will be addressed in a divorce.
Advantages of a Legal Separation
A California Legal Separation and a California divorce have many things in common. The advantages include:
- It gives you time to decide if you want to proceed with a divorce.
- You will be able to maintain medical benefits.
- You can live separately and retain your marital status for religious beliefs.
- Military spouses can remain married to meet the 10-year requirement for additional benefits under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act.
- You can continue your marriage to meet the minimum 10-year requirement to take advantage of your spouse’s social security benefits.
Converting a Legal Separation to Divorce
Remember, a California Legal Separation can be converted into a California Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) and, any legal separation agreement can be converted into a divorce settlement agreement.
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