Legal Separation Attorneys in Southern California
A Decree of Legal Separation as an Alternative to Divorce
If you’re not absolutely certain that you want a divorce, but do know that the “status quo” can’t go on, or you are avoiding divorce for religious reasons — then you might want to consider legal separation as an alternative to divorce.
Similarly, if you know that you do want to get a divorce — obtaining a decree of legal separation can be a good way to protect your assets going forward.
At Holstrom, Sissung, Marks & Anderson, we’re not interested in steering you toward getting a divorce or not getting a divorce; we’re interested in doing what’s right for you. Our attorneys represent clients throughout Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties in all kinds of family law and divorce-related issues, including legal separations. We can help you make the right decision.
For a free phone consultation — call any of our three Southern California office locations directly or schedule an appointment by contacting us online.
What Does “Legal Separation” Mean?
The term “legal separation” can be used in two different contexts. The first is simply being legally separate, and the other involves a Decree of Legal Separation.
In the informal context, legal separation really refers to the “date of separation” in connection with a divorce. The date of this separation is important to the property division aspects of divorce because it establishes a legal stopping point for the accumulation of marital assets and debt — after which any assets acquired or debts accumulated are considered separate. Often this date can become critical, as marital assets may have dramatically increased or decreased in value. Sometimes simply moving out does not constitute being legally separated. To find out how these differences affect you and your situation, please contact us immediately
In the formal context, either spouse files a petition with the court for a decree of legal separation. Often, this is done for emotional reasons or religious reasons but it is also used by people for tax purposes, for insurance reasons or to avoid the statutory waiting period that is required for the termination of marital status.
In other cases, a formal legal separation can also be used to set the parameters for dealing with one another while living separate and apart (especially with respect to continuing support obligations and co-parenting issues) — while maintaining the status of being married, and leaving the door open for a reconciliation, reunion or resumption of marriage, or for an ultimate dissolution.
To learn more about the legal separation alternative or to speak with an experienced lawyer about your situation and concerns — call any one of our office locations directly or contact us online.
Free Telephone Consultations/Major Credit Cards Accepted
- Corona Office: (951) 734-6371
- Orange Office: (714) 633-8258
- Riverside Office: (951) 274-9448
- San Bernardino Office: (909) 919-2041