There are some people who, when faced with the end of a marriage, do not want to completely dissolve it by way of a California divorce. Instead, they would like to find a middle ground that will allow them to move on with their lives but to maintain the legality of that marriage on some level. For those who find themselves in this position, a legal separation may be the best option available. Anyone who would like to explore this option further should seek the help of experienced San Diego legal separation lawyers, as there are issues to keep in mind and technicalities that need to be handled. Below is a brief introduction to this process.
The Difference between California Legal Separation and Divorce
In essence, the only real, tangible difference between a legal separation and a divorce in California is the spouses’ inability to remarry. That’s because the marriage is not completely dissolved when people obtain a legal separation. However, they must still go through the process of dividing the marital estate, working out support payments and resolving other issues such as child custody and visitation. Otherwise, the process for obtaining a legal separation is essentially the same as obtaining a divorce in California.
Common Reasons for a California Legal Separation
There are common reasons as to why two people would rather pursue a legal separation as opposed to a full-blown divorce in California. One of the most common involves religious beliefs. Certain faiths preclude divorce from their members, and a legal separation allows them to end a problematic situation and to avoid problems with their religious organizations.
Another common reason for pursuing this route is in order to maintain insurance coverage and other benefits that may extend to both spouses as long as they are legally married. Many forms of insurance coverage and other benefits will cease as soon as a divorce is finalized and a final decree is entered by the judge. A legal separation can help to avoid this consequence.
Potential Problems with a California Legal Separation
Unfortunately, there are also potential problems that could arise with obtaining a California legal separation instead of a divorce. The most common problem is the faulty assumption that if a legal separation is obtained, the process of simply having the marriage dissolved is fast and simple. That is not the case. Instead, the spouses would need to reopen a case for divorce and start from the beginning as though the legal separation never occurred.
How To Proceed
Overall, there are different possibilities when it comes to ending a marriage. If you face this type of situation, seek the help of experienced San Diego legal separation attorneys who have helped countless people put an end to their domestic problems and move on with their lives. Contact the law offices of James D. Scott today to schedule an initial consultation.
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