When you and your spouse can no longer get along and feel it’s be best if you were to separate from one another, you might assume that getting a divorce is the only legal option on the table.
That’s not necessarily the case. For various reasons, you may not be ready to get a divorce just yet. If so, in California, you can get a legal separation instead.
In some ways, a legal separation is similar to a divorce. Spouses who are legally separate from each other must make decisions regarding the division of property, child support, child custody, and visitation rights. However, in the eyes of the law, even after getting a legal separation, they remain officially married.
There is no universally right choice for all couples regarding whether legal separation or divorce is the superior option when two spouses are struggling to maintain a healthy marriage. It’s best to ask yourself certain important questions about your current and future plans when deciding whether to get a divorce or a legal separation. That said, if the idea of getting a legal separation interest you at all, the following are some reasons you may consider it:
Keeping Certain Benefits
Being married often involves enjoying certain practical benefits, particularly in regard to taxes and healthcare. If you wish to keep those benefits, you can get a legal separation instead of a divorce.
Adhering to Religious Beliefs
Are you in a marriage that feels unsustainable, but you nevertheless also don’t wish to get a divorce because doing so would represent a violation of certain cultural or religious beliefs? If so, a legal separation is another option to consider. By getting a legal separation instead of a divorce, you can stay officially married, ensuring that you have not betrayed what may be deeply-held religious values.
Leaving Room to Return
The decision to get a divorce is a very challenging one. Although there are certainly instances when two spouses know for certain that they are ready for their marriage to end, in many cases, spouses are not sure if they are prepared to take such a final step.
Legal separation is often an ideal solution for such couples. When they get a legal separation, they can try living apart as a sort of experiment to get a clearer sense of what being divorced would be like without actually severing the relationship entirely. While it’s true that some couples get divorced only to remarry later, the process of marrying someone again after getting a divorce is much more complex than the process of resuming a relationship after a legal separation.
That said, you also need to consider the limitations of this option. For example, if you only get a legal separation, you can’t marry someone else until you finalize a divorce.
Regardless, if you do choose to get a legal separation instead of a divorce, you will still need the assistance of a lawyer to walk you through every step of the process. At the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, our Simi Valley legal separation attorney is on hand to offer the assistance you need. Contact our offices online or call us at 818-237-4574 for more information.