We are often asked about legal separations and the difference between a divorce or a legal separation in San Diego. A legal separation accomplishes many of the goals of a divorce, without terminating the underlying marriage itself. “Why on earth would anyone want to do that?” you might ask. There are actually quite a few reasons to consider a legal separation in San Diego.
In essence, a divorce or a legal separation in San Diego are the same process. However, at the end of a legal separation the parties are still married. Only a divorce allows the party to end the marital relationship and pursue a new marital relationship.
A legal separation will provide orders for child custody and parenting time, child support, spousal support and the division of community property. But the parties remain legally married. If the parties aren’t absolutely sure about the divorce a legal separation can provide the space to fully reflect on the decision.
There are many realities where a legal separation serves a solid purpose. For example, in military divorce cases the duration of the marriage is quite important. If you are approaching a 10 year, 15 year or 20 year mark in your marriage staying legally married can extend important protections and benefits to military personnel and their spouses.
In other cases the decision between a divorce or a legal separation in San Diego may be about health care coverage, especially when one of the spouses face a pre-existing medical condition. Once the marriage is concluded in a divorce the spouse providing health insurance must drop the other from their health care coverage. Those with ongoing medical issues or pre-existing conditions may not qualify for medical coverage on their own and in these cases a legal separation is a genuine option.
Here in California one of the parties must be a California resident for six months prior to filing a divorce. If one of the parties is new to California they could consider filing for a legal separation, and later change the filing to request a divorce. Other reasons can include qualification for social security, religious beliefs and simply not being ready to complete a divorce.
If you are considering a divorce or legal separation we invite you to protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists. Learn which option will be best for your unique circumstances and the best strategy to help you to accomplish your objectives.