Legal Separation

Legal Separation

A legal separation is very similar to a divorce, but unlike a divorce, it does not end the parties’ marriage. Also, unlike divorce, a judgment of legal separation will not usually be granted without the consent of both of the parties; only in cases of default (where one party fails to respond or otherwise make a general appearance) will a judgment of legal separation be granted without the mutual consent of the parties. The process necessary to get a judgment of legal separation is virtually identical to the process necessary to obtain a divorce. A judgment of legal separation will cover all of the issues that are typical of a divorce proceeding. These issues include child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support and division of property.

Filing for legal separation may be a better option for spouses for a variety of reasons:

Religious Reasons

Divorce violates the tenants of certain religions. Spouses may prefer to stay married but live apart in order to stay true to their faith. A legal separation will allow the parties to work out important issues like child custody, support, and property division usually handled in a divorce action without the need to end the marriage and conflict with the parties’ religious beliefs. If you are questioning whether, due to religious reasons, legal separation or divorce is the right choice for you, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Office of Elainie Honjas at 408-292-4849 for a free 30 minute consultation. We can make sure you understand your options given your religious beliefs and help you make the right choice.

Medical Reasons

Divorce terminates a marriage, and this termination may adversely affect a party’s eligibility for medical insurance. If a person is covered by their spouse’s medical insurance, the termination of the marriage usually brings such coverage to an end. If that person suffers from a serious medical condition, they may be unable to afford sufficient medical insurance benefits on their own. A legal separation will allow the continuation of medical benefits, and at the same time adjudicate the important issues covered in a divorce proceeding. If you are questioning whether, for insurance reasons, legal separation or divorce is the right choice for you, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Office of Elainie Honjas at 408-292-4849 for a free 30 minute consultation. We can explain the effect of divorce and legal separation on your specific medical insurance plans and make sure you’re making the right the choice.

Tactical Reasons

California has statutory residency requirements that must be met before a court may adjudicate a divorce. For some couples, this means a long wait before the divorce process can even be started. Legal separation provides a way speed up this process because it has no statutory residency requirement. A party can file for legal separation, and then simply amend the petition to request a divorce once the residency requirements are met. In the meantime, important issues like child custody, support and property division may be addressed. If you are questioning whether, due to residency requirements, legal separation or divorce is the right choice for you, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Office of Elainie Honjas at 408-292-4849 for a free 30 minute consultation. We can explain the divorce and legal separation process and California residency requirements and help you make the right choice.