Turn to a Trusted Family Lawyer When Filing for Legal Separation in California
Understanding your options for separation
A legal separation can be an emotionally difficult time. As your family lawyer, I, McCleary (Mac) H. Sanborn, III, Attorney at Law guide you in making the decisions that are best for your family. Legal separation differs from divorce in meaningful ways. However, much as in divorce proceedings, there are issues to consider in the legal separation process in California. I offer advice and counsel as you explore your options.
Legal separation, unlike divorce, does not mean the dissolution of your marriage. While separated, you are still technically married, though you may be living in different homes, agreed on financial responsibilities to one another and to your minor children, and have divided property. People often file for legal separation as they wait for their residency requirements for divorce to be met. Other couples opt for legal separation as a means of maintaining financial stability or moral or religious reasons.
How do I file for legal separation in California?
Filing for legal separation in California is similar to the process of initiating divorce proceedings. The separation process includes:
- Filing a petition to legally separate from your spouse
- Waiting for your spouse to be served the petition and a summons for a court date
- You may go to court to discuss your petition with a judge
Do I need an attorney during the legal separation process?
While you are not required to hire an attorney, it’s a good idea to do so. Particularly if you and your spouse have a significant amount of community property or assets that require division, a trusted lawyer offers invaluable guidance.
Understanding legal separation in a domestic partnership
The process for legal separation of a domestic partnership is largely the same as the process for separation in traditional marriages. You begin the process by submitting a petition for legal separation of domestic partners to a California court, and your partner will be served a copy of the petition and a summons.