Rocklin Family Law Firm Handles Legal Separation Proceedings

California attorney advises spouses throughout the Sacramento area

Marital relationships frequently break down to the point where spouses decide to go their separate ways. In many cases, this means divorce, but there is an alternative which allows a couple to live apart and create a framework to address key issues without breaking their legal ties. Inimitable Law in Rocklin helps California spouses safeguard their interests in separation discussions and advocates for them in court when necessary.

Issues that need to be resolved in a marital separation

States differ on granting legal separation status to spouses, but California does grant orders declaring that a married couple is legally separated. You can remain separated for an indefinite period, but cannot marry someone else until you file for divorce. In a separation order, the court sets forth terms relating to the following:

  • Child custody and visitation — Parents who live in separate residences must develop a plan to ensure that they both can maintain strong relationships with the children they share. A separation order should address decision-making authority, also known as legal custody, as well as detailed schedule outlining when the child will be in each parent’s home.
  • Property division and spousal support — Separated spouses can continue to own property together and access spousal benefits, but often choose to establish individual bank accounts. Decisions must be made about who, if anyone, will reside in the family home and whether the higher-earning party will be required to send payments in order to help the other meet their needs.
  • Child support — Regardless of their marital status, both parents are obligated to provide for their children financially. This usually means that the parent who does not have primary physical custody is required to send child support to their co-parent.

Achieving appropriate terms on these issues can be a complicated process. You can rely on us to handle these matters with the highest levels of skill and professionalism.

What are the grounds for legal separation in California?

California courts will grant a legal separation based on the irreconcilable differences between parties or a spouse’s incurable insanity. You do not need to show that your spouse has committed adultery, abused you or committed any other type of misconduct in order to obtain a separation order.

Why might you choose legal separation over divorce in California?

There are numerous reasons why spouses might opt for legal separation as opposed to divorce. Some people choose to remain married due to their religious principles or because they believe a reconciliation could occur. In a separation, someone can maintain access to their spouse’s health insurance coverage and other benefits. Couples who have lived in California for fewer than six months cannot file for divorce, so they might use a separation for the period until the residency requirement is fulfilled.

California legal separation process

A California separation proceeding is initiated in the same way as a divorce action. Whenever possible, we strive to find consensus on the pertinent issues so that the parties can execute a separation agreement and submit that to the judge for approval and incorporation into an order. However, if you cannot find common ground, we will advocate for you before the court and the judge will decide what the separation terms should be. 

Contact a Northern California attorney for a consultation about legal separation

Inimitable Law in Rocklin advises clients throughout the Sacramento area on legal separation and other California family law matters. Please call 916-500-0369 or contact us online to make an appointment for a consultation.