Legal Separation in Newport Beach
The Difference Between Divorce & Legal Separation
When one is considering
divorce, it is well to understand all legal avenues that might be applicable in
your situation. Many people do not realize there are basically three actions
a person may take when faced with the possibility of the dissolution of
their marriage. These three actions are specific and distinct areas under
the law. Therefore, it is wise to seek out a practiced and knowledgeable
Newport Beach divorce lawyer who can explain each option fully and work
with you to determine what option solves your particular personal situation
in the best way possible.
What are my options?
In California, there are
three actions that couples can take under the law: separation, legal separation and divorce.
The logistics of each of these are as follows:
Separation simply means that you and your spouse are living apart. You
are not co-habiting. To take this action there is no need to involve the
Court, either by filing papers or by decree. If this is something you
and your spouse can agree upon- that is all that is necessary. However,
it should be noted, that if one or the other spouse opts to leave the
home and live elsewhere, this may have repercussions on your situation
in the future if you do decide to divorce. Therefore, it is imperative
that you speak with a lawyer before you take any action, to find out what
those repercussions, if any, might be in your specific situation.
Legal separation does involve the Courts and all of the issues which are
involved in a divorce need to be worked out in a legal separation. Property
settlement, child support, spousal support, visitation and the like, must
be addressed and set out to the satisfaction of the parties and the Family
Court. However, the main difference is, that in a legal separation, the
two parties are still considered married. In that same regard, the wife
may not reclaim her maiden name and neither party would have the right
to remarry. A legal separation usually takes about the same time as a
divorce (8-10 months) and the legal costs are usually comparable. Why
would an individual opt for a legal separation? Many times the decision
comes from the parties religious or moral beliefs.
Another factor can be in the area of health insurance. If health insurance
is a major issue between the parties, this may be something to consider.
The reason being, many health insurance plans will still honor benefits
to those who are legally separated -where divorced couples are not. The
time covered may be limited to two to three years or there may be other
restrictions. So, it is best to check with the covering insurance carrier,
employers or the appropriate human services department to find out the
particular facts in your case.
Divorce is a completely legal and final action. Under the law there are
no longer any future obligations of care or conduct towards the other
person (except those set out in the divorce agreement itself, of course).
The wife may reclaim her maiden name if she chooses and both parties are
free, under the law to marry in the future. There are many legalities
surrounding the process of divorce and a couple different ways to complete
the process. Whether you are able to terminate your marriage amicably
through a no-fault divorce or you require a third party mediator to help
you negotiate the terms of the dissolution of your marriage, you can turn to
The Law Offices of Marc E. Mitzner for help. From uncontested divorces to contested divorces, you will undeniably
benefit from having an Newport Beach divorce lawyer on your side that
will steadfastly advocate on your behalf.
Advantages of Legal Separations
For some couples, legal separation serves as a great alternative for those
looking to fundamentally change the dynamics of their marriage, and possibly
even end the legal relationship altogether. Unlike an official divorce,
there is no standard six-month waiting period that will need to lapse
before the legal process can be officially put underway. Instead,
legal separations allow for an immediate judgment to be made. The papers will be processed in the court relatively quickly and the
legal separation can officially begin. If, later, the couple wishes to
dissolve the marriage entirely (through divorce), they will have the option to do so.
Finally, there are many advantages to choosing legal separation. For example,
a spouse who does not currently work and has a pre-existing medical condition
may be allowed to remain on his / her spouse's health insurance during
the legal separation. In addition, because legal separation is still technically
considered a version of marriage, the same advantages that would otherwise
apply to a married couple will still remain in effect. This means that
even couples who are separated will benefit from the ten-year marriage
benefits that are given by Social Security and many other circumstances
of a similar nature.
Contact the Newport Beach family lawyers at our firm today to receive aggressive representation!