Divorce vs. Legal Separation in the State of California

February 10, 2017 — by Karen Brown
Tags: Divorce Family Law

The hand of a lawyer writing the draft of a divorce settlementAs an experienced divorce lawyer who places the best interests of her clients above all else, Karen S. Brown advises those she represents of all of the options open to them. She also advises them openly and honestly of the benefits and drawbacks of each. Ultimately, she understands how life-altering an event the dissolution of a marriage is, and she wants her clients to feel as confident as possible in the decisions they make as to how they proceed.

One of the issues most commonly discussed during legal consultations with her clients is that of divorce vs. legal separation. At her Los Angeles, CA law office, Karen S. Brown discusses the circumstances surrounding the individual client’s marriage to determine whether one option offers any distinct advantage over the other. In most cases, divorce is the most appropriate solution; however, there are instances in which legal separation may be preferable.

If you are considering divorce or legal separation and you are in need of a divorce lawyer who will vigorously represent your best interests, we invite you to contact the Law Office of Karen S. Brown, Family Law Attorney, today.

How Are Divorce and Legal Separation Different?

The fact is that divorce and legal separation are not all that different, which is why there is not much advantage in seeking legal separation. Many people believe that legal separation is somehow a simpler process than divorce; however, in the state of California, this is simply not the case. The primary difference between divorce and legal separation is that, in the case of the latter, the marriage is not legally terminated. The process, however, is much the same:

  • Marital assets and debts must still be divided.
  • You must have the same grounds for legal separation (e.g., irreconcilable differences) as you would for divorce.
  • A petition must be served.
  • If children are involved, issues of custody, visitation, and support must be resolved.

In truth, there is no substantial benefit to choosing legal separation over divorce, unless:

  • Your religious beliefs forbid divorce, but you do not wish to remain married.
  • You want to remain on the health insurance policy of your spouse, or your spouse wants to remain on yours, but you otherwise do not wish to remain married.
  • You want to hasten your divorce despite you, your spouse, or both not having met the residency requirements for the state of California. You can convert your legal separation to a divorce six months after you initiate the legal process of obtaining a separation under California law.

Karen S. Brown will help you weigh your options and the pros and cons of each. Together, you will arrive at the decision that is most beneficial to you and your future.

Learn More about Divorce vs. Legal Separation

To learn more about divorce vs. legal separation, or to arrange for a legal consultation with one of the state’s most respected and experienced divorce lawyers, please contact the Law Office of Karen S. Brown today.