Why Get a Legal Separation?
Are you interested in obtaining a legal separation in the Los Angeles area? For some married couples, filing for a legal separation is preferable to a divorce. A legal separation does not terminate the marriage. It permits the spouses to be legally separated and to settle such issues as
property division, just as in a divorce. By drawing up an agreement of separation and determining critical arrangements, it allows for the two individuals to live their separate lives without having to figure out problems as they come along.
If at some point the couple wishes to dissolve the marriage through divorce, the court system will often be more receptive and grant their divorce quickly because they already have a written contract. The judge will not have to deliberate with the two different parties regarding such issues as spousal or child support due to the legal separation filing that has already been permitted.
Common Reasons and Benefits
Often spouses want to remain married while living apart for religious or cultural reasons. It is a taboo subject for some people groups and it may cause more tension than it is worth for certain couples to attempt to seek a divorce. Some individuals may want a legal separation as opposed to a divorce for tax or insurance coverage reasons. They still want to retain the benefits of their spouse's health or life insurance without having to live together still.
In some cases, couples want to legally separate in preparation for the possibility of divorce, setting up arrangements for support obligations while leaving the door open to reconciliation. A legal separation, however, does not leave you free to marry someone else and is not a prerequisite to a divorce. Separating also allows for each spouse to get their necessary property and assets squared away so there is no doubt about who owns what possessions. Any debts acquired by either spouse after a legal separation is his or her sole and separate responsibility.
If one spouse is in the military, couples may choose separation at least until they have been married for at least 10 years so that the non-military spouse can retain benefits from the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act. Social security benefits are also not available to a divorced couple, so spouses may separate until they have been married a minimum of 10 years before ending the marriage entirely. No waiting period or residency requirements exist for a legal separation and once the formal agreement is drawn up and filed, it can be effective immediately. Both parties must agree to the separation in order for the court to grant it rather than a divorce.
How can an attorney help you?
For legal assistance in filing a legal separation, we recommend that you contact the Law Offices of Michael D. Burt to discuss your situation. Our firm is dedicated to helping individuals and families in resolving their divorce and family law matters. Because we focus exclusively on the field of family law, our family law attorney can provide extensive knowledge and experience with these issues.
Clients can trust our staff to take care of them with an unprecedented level of care and concern regarding their particular case. Attorney Burt is a level-headed attorney who will always make it a priority to make your case as efficient possible while minimizing your expenses. Having spent time working with a high-profile firm, he learned what it takes to create a solid case on behalf of his clients. Contact our office to learn more about separation and its benefits. Please fill out our free case evaluation as soon as possible to begin the legal process you are seeking out.