There are three ways to legally end a marriage or domestic partnership in California – divorce, legal separation, and annulment.
A Judgment of Legal Separation addresses the same issues as a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage (divorce), including custody of children, child support, spousal support, and property division. The most significant difference is that a Judgment of Legal Separation does not end your marriage. Neither spouse is legally able to remarry with a Judgment of Legal Separation. Both parties must agree to proceed with a Legal Separation; it is not an option in California unless your spouse agrees to one.
There are similarities between the filing requirements for both a Legal Separation and a divorce, with the major difference being the residency requirement. In a divorce, you must have lived in California for at least 6 months before you can file for divorce here. There is no such residency requirement in a Legal Separation.
Your family has a unique dynamic, and there are many avenues that you can take to accommodate your family’s needs. You and your spouse may choose to end things amicably and want to avoid a courtroom – Cooper Hughes can assist you with an uncontested legal separation. You and your spouse may have disagreements in various areas of your case – Cooper Hughes can assist you in negotiating and, if necessary, litigating your case.