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What are the advantages of legal separation in California?

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2022 | Family Law

When a married couple is going through tough times, they often have to decide whether to stay together and work on the marriage or get a divorce. In California, there is a third option called legal separation.

Legal separation is best suited for spouses who have decided to separate but are not ready to go through with a divorce.

Under California Code, Family Code Sec. 2310, legal separations are granted for two reasons:

  • Irreconcilable differences: The marriage has broken down and cannot be fixed.
  • Permanent legal incapacity: Unable to make decisions.

Why should I consider legal separation?

There are many benefits to legal separation. Consider the following:

  • Limited requirements: Unlike divorce, a legal separation does not have any residency requirements or waiting period. As long as you and your spouse agree, you can file for separation.
  • Separate lives: Once your separation is granted, you can separate your finances and live separately if you choose.
  • Remain legally married: If you get legally separated, you will still be legally married to your spouse, which may be your preference for religious or personal reasons. If you are still considering a possible divorce in the future, a legal separation may give you the time and space you need to make that decision.
  • Financial benefits: Legally separating is also beneficial in that it could allow you to continue benefitting as a married couple. You can file joint taxes, stay on your spouse’s health insurance plan and retain Social Security and other benefits.

While legal separation has many benefits, it is not always the best course of action, particularly if you have already made the decision to divorce. A family law attorney in your area can help you decide if a legal separation is right for you.