When deciding between legal separation vs divorce, keep in mind that l egal separation provides couples with more time to think about whether they want to end their marriage.
Legal separation is more formal than simply moving out. A spouse must petition the court to get a legal separation order.
A legal separation agreement divides property, establishes child custody and support requirements, and ends future community property transactions between spouses. When comparing legal separation vs divorce, be aware that both processes require a resolution of the division of marital assets and debts. Basically the process is exactly the same as a divorce. The only difference is that after a legal separation you are not free to remarry.
All other issues are resolved in the same way as they would be in a divorce proceeding. When deciding between legal separation vs divorce, couples that cannot end their marriage for religious reasons tend to seek legal separation. Legal separation also allows the couple to continue filing taxes jointly. If there is little to no financial benefit in legally separating from your spouse, and you are certain you want to end your marriage, you should consider filing for divorce instead of a legal separation.
You should also consider filing for divorce if you want to get remarried. California divorces take at least six months to complete.
This is in large part due to a mandatory six month waiting period after serving the respondent before a divorce decree can be entered. The timeline between legal separation vs divorce is different.
First, there is no waiting period to obtain a legal separation order. If you are not sure whether you want a divorce, consider filing for legal separation.
Doing so will make it easier to keep your marital status in the event you and your spouse change your mind about going your separate ways. Skip to main content Skip to topics menu Skip to topics menu. Cancel Print.
Advanced Search. In California, there is no fault law, so fault does not have to be proven as grounds for divorce. The spouses will need to agree on division of property, custody, and any other final decisions before filing.
If an agreement cannot be reached, the court will make these decisions. Divorces are final, and once judgment is made the parties can remarry in the future.
Those seeking a divorce will be able to choose full, partial, or sole representation, and they will benefit from court determinations for complicated decisions. Spouses with many assets, children, or who cannot seem to agree on decisions should seek official divorce proceedings through an attorney and the court.
A Summary dissolution is a more stream-lined divorce process. Spouses who qualify for a summary dissolution will not have to file as much paperwork and may not need to be seen in court for proceedings.
In order to qualify for dissolution, the spouses must meet the following criteria:. If these requirements are met, and both spouses agree to the summary dissolution, they can proceed. This process is best suited for people in the early years of marriage who do not have many entanglements. If spouses cannot agree, they should seek a divorce instead. A legal separation allows the couple to live apart from each other and make independent decisions on finances, property, and parenting.