Legal separation is an alternative to divorce that keeps the marriage intact in name only. If you and your spouse wish to legally separate in Marin County, California, an attorney from the Schoenberg Family Law Group can help you take all of the necessary steps to achieve this goal. We will explain your rights and guide you through the legal process from start to finish. Contact us today to request your consultation with one of our Marin County legal separation attorneys.
What to Expect at the Schoenberg Family Law Group
The Schoenberg Family Law Group is led by Attorney Debra R. Schoenberg, who is a Certified Family Law Specialist. This means she has received additional training, passed tests and remained in good legal standing within this specialty. She has been certified by the State of California Board of Legal Specialization. She has also been named a SuperLawyer for over 10 years. Debra and her team take the time to get to know each client and understand their goals for the case to personalize the legal experience.
What Is Legal Separation?
Legal separation is a court order stating that while two people are still technically married, they can live separate lives and move on from their marriage independently without needing to dissolve the union. Someone who is legally separated and not divorced cannot remarry, as he or she is still married on paper. However, a legally separated couple can live apart and classify any income or property they acquire after the date of separation as separate property. This protects it from being shared with an ex-spouse if the legal separation turns into a divorce.
Is Legal Separation Right for You?
Legal separation can have several benefits over divorce in California. It is a good in-between stage for many couples, as it is simple to turn a legal separation into a divorce. If the couple reconciles, on the other hand, it is also easy to end the legal separation and resume normal marriage. If a couple can no longer live together but is unsure about the future of their relationship, legal separation may be the right option.
Some couples choose to remain legally separated indefinitely as a means of retaining certain benefits that only come with marriage while still living separate lives. For example, a legally separated couple can still receive insurance coverage, tax benefits, retirement benefits and other advantages of marriage. Others choose legal separation for religious or personal reasons, as their beliefs may be against divorce.
As mentioned above, legal separation also has property benefits – which are especially important under California’s community property law. This law means that if a divorce case goes to court, a judge will divide community or marital property evenly down the middle (50/50), whether or not this is fair for either party. The courts cannot, however, divide separate property. Getting legally separated gives a specific date upon which your property is your own and not classified as part of the community.
How to Get Legally Separated in Marin County, California
The process for getting legally separated is similar to getting a divorce in Marin County, or other cities in California. One of the parties must file the petition and pay the filing fee. Then, the petition will be served on the other spouse, who has the chance to either agree with the presented terms or contest them. From there, the couple will negotiate until they either reach a settlement or have to go to court for a judge to assign the terms of the legal separation for them. Once the paperwork has been signed by a judge, the legal separation goes into effect immediately. Unlike a divorce, there is no waiting period or residency requirement for legal separation in Marin County or any other city in California.
Speak to a Marin County Legal Separation Lawyer Today
The Schoenberg Family Law Group excels at handling complex and sensitive family law issues in Marin County and throughout California. To learn more about legally separating from your spouse, contact us to request a consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced Marin County legal separation lawyer. Call (415) 212-8023 today.