In California, married couples that want to split up but don’t wish to divorce may seek an alternative called legal separation. While similar to a divorce, legal separations differ in a few key ways.
Whereas divorce is a final, irreversible filing to end your marriage, a legal separation will not officially terminate your marital status. In other words, you will still be legally married to your spouse.
Family law is extremely complex. If you and your spouse are considering separating, you are encouraged to seek counsel from a Rancho Cucamonga separation lawyer from the Law Office of Laurence J. Brock at your earliest convenience.
There are many aspects of legal separation that are similar to divorce. Alimony, child custody, visitation rights, child support, and division of property are all issues that will be dealt with during a legal separation.
Alimony (sometimes referred to as spousal support) is a court-ordered transfer of money from one former spouse to another. Alimony is normally given to the spouse who was financially supported by the other for the duration of the marriage. There are a myriad of factors a judge will consider when determining how much alimony a spouse is entitled to.
For a marriage lasting less than ten years, spousal support will be provided for half of the length of the marriage. For example, if you and your spouse have been married for eight years, alimony would typically last for four years. However, every case is different and it is always the court’s discretion how long spousal support will last.
For marriages lasting longer than ten years, courts will often decree the alimony term as “indefinite.” For the court to nullify alimony payments, the onus is on the paying party to prove that spousal support is no longer necessary.
Alimony is confusing enough at the beginning of a divorce proceeding, and getting it adjusted later can be even more challenging. In both cases, it’s best to work with a Rancho Cucamonga separation lawyer from our firm so that you can achieve the best results.
You and your ex will need to devise a parenting strategy. This will be a written agreement outlining how you will both make choices regarding your child’s wellbeing, as well as how much time your child will spend with each of you.
Your Rancho Cucamonga separation lawyer can handle these negotiations on your behalf, as well as writing the agreement itself to ensure that it is legally binding.
Children need financial support from their parents and have a lawful right to it. Factors such as number of children, child custody, and each party’s income are all taken into consideration when calculating child support. Other aspects that may be taken into account are healthcare expenses and costs associated with the child’s education.
In the legal sense, property can refer to any of the following:
Only property acquired during the marriage is divided up by the courts. Property acquired prior to the marriage (called separate property) is not subject to this division.
One must also consider debts when assessing division of property. Similar to the above, debt acquired during the marriage will be considered community debt and be divided as such. Making sure that all of your property is correctly valued and categorized is essential to a successful separation. A Rancho Cucamonga separation lawyer from our office will ensure that both of these tasks are carried out.
A California court must make a formal order about division of property when proceeding with a legal separation. Even if you and your spouse come to an agreement yourselves regarding division of property, a judge must review and sign-off on it.
The major difference between divorce and legal separation is that you are still considered married in the eyes of the courts once legally separated.
This has many implications. For example, spouses may opt for legal separation for tax reasons or for maintaining healthcare benefits. Some spouses may legally separate as a pragmatic first step toward divorce while still leaving the door open for reconciliation. Your Rancho Cucamonga separation lawyer will help you explore your options and determine if legal separation is a good choice for you and your spouse.
The dissolution of a relationship is always difficult, and you will need someone in your corner who will ensure that your interests are properly taken care of. A Rancho Cucamonga separation lawyer from the Law Office of Laurence J. Brock will have the experience in family law you need.
Call us at 909-466-7661 or submit the form at the bottom of this page to schedule your free consultation. You can count on us to handle your case professionally, compassionately, and discretely.