For most people, building a family is a great achievement. However, if you’re having serious problems with your spouse/partner and need to take a break from your marriage, getting a divorce isn’t the only legal option in California.
One of the best ways to put your marriage on hold without ending it is to get a legal separation. A legal separation will offer you the same protection as a divorce; sometimes, it can work out much better. A legal separation differs from the separation where you and your spouse/partner start living separate and apart. A legal separation can provide for the division of community property and spousal support, as well as child custody and child support when children are involved.
Here are some of the benefits of a legal separation
Exactly how a legal separation can benefit you depends a lot on your situation, but here are some possibilities:
- It’s the first step to divorce: Getting legally separated is the first step to divorce, especially if you’ve not yet decided to end your marriage entirely. Religious convictions and tax benefits inspire most couples to become legally separated.
- There is a possibility of reconciliation: A legal separation gives you and your spouse the ability to restore your relationship after some time apart. In the meantime, you can seek marriage counseling.
- Suitable if you’re not ready for a full-blown divorce: If you and your spouse aren’t sure if getting divorced is the right decision, a legal separation may be the best option.
- You can receive military and social security benefits: In California, couples have to be married for at least ten years for them to receive military and social security benefits. Therefore, you can use legal separation to stay married until you receive these benefits.
- You can receive health insurance coverage: Legal separation can ensure that you keep receiving health insurance coverage from your spouse’s work, but a divorce would end this coverage.
Should you file for legal separation in California?
Ending your marriage isn’t a decision you should make lightly. During this difficult time, consider getting legal guidance to determine all your options and the best strategy for your situation.