Is Legal Separation the Right Decision for You?

Although they are becoming increasingly rare in California family courts, there are still legal advantages for filing for legal separation. In many cases, a separation may allow you and your ex-spouse to continue to remain married "on paper" for the purposes of health care and other corporate and state benefits. In California, a person must be a California resident for six months before being able to file for divorce. If you or your spouse are not yet residents of the state, legal separation allows the property division process to begin, while you and your spouse are waiting to become residents.

Some benefits of a legal separation include:

  • Start your divorce settlement agreement during the six-month wait
  • Continue to file joint tax returns
  • Continue to qualify for joint employment benefits
  • Qualify for Social Security benefits as a married couple
  • Qualify for health insurance and life insurance benefits

Haslam & Thorne, LLP, is ready to help you with all of your marriage dissolution needs. When you meet with us to discuss your circumstances, your attorney will fully explain the benefits of a legal separation and how you can begin the process. Although a separation does not fully dissolve your legal marriage contract, it can serve your immediate legal needs.

Annulment

An annulment is an acknowledgement that the marriage contract never actually existed between the two parties. Like a legal separation, an annulment must be agreed to by both spouses, or it will be considered a divorce. In general, an annulment is very difficult to obtain if the marriage relationship has lasted a significant number of years. Because a legal annulment acknowledges that no legal contract ever existed, no spousal support or community property will result. In general, annulments are usually sought to satisfy religious purposes.

Whether you file for separation or annulment, if you intend to get remarried, you will eventually have to secure a legal divorce.

Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers to discuss whether a legal separation or an annulment is right for you.