A legal separation is appropriate only in a narrow set of situations; divorce is against your religion and neither of you plan on remarrying; you need to remain married in order to be eligible to claim an interest in the other’s Social Security benefits; one of you have significant medical issues which prevents him or her from obtaining private medical insurance; or you have not lived in the state long enough to file a regular divorce action.
A legal separation is very similar to a divorce or dissolution of marriage. The grounds for the legal separation are similar to that of a divorce, either citing irreconcilable differences or incurable insanity. Irreconcilable differences is the no-fault divorce option where neither party must prove fault of some kind by the other party. The second legal ground for legal separation requires professional medical or psychiatric testimony and evidence.
However, there are significant differences between a legal separation and a divorce. Both parties must agree to a legal separation. If both spouses do not agree specifically to a legal separation then proceedings automatically become divorce proceedings. Remember, both parties do not have to agree to a divorce. There is no waiting period in California for a legal separation; it can happen immediately, while it takes six months for a dissolution of marriage to be finalized. Finally, there is no residency requirement for a legal separation. You do not have to live in the state for six months before filing the action. But the most important difference is that technically, you remain married, which means of course that you cannot marry someone else.
The Petition for Legal Separation is filed and personally served on the Respondent.
Contact the Law Office of Vanessa Gnekow immediately to discuss your situation so that we may take immediate action to protect you. Call now at 909-481-5350
The Law Office of Vanessa Gnekow is able to provide Family Law Services to all of California, with a focus on the Cities of Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, and San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties.