Legal separation may appear similar, but it is not the same as divorce. Separated couples live together but are still considered married by law. Separation may not always end in divorce. However, it causes a division of responsibilities. Consult Foothill Ranch Divorce Attorney to seek help in deciding the most suitable kind of separation for you.
- Trial Separation
This type of separation is suitable for those couples that need a break from each other without actually breaking up legally. They live away from each other and decide if they should continue the relationship or move to divorce. There are not many legal changes following this type of separation. All the marital property laws are still applicable to the spouses. All the assets acquired during the process of trial separation will be considered under the marital property. It will be regarded as jointly owned by separated spouses.
If you and your spouse are separating but wish to reconcile in the future, make sure to prepare an informal agreement. The agreement must contain the details regarding shared bank accounts and credit cards, expenditure budget, sharing the responsibility of expenses, the amount of time spent with the child by each parent, and with whom the child will stay with. This agreement can be helpful if you and your partner decide to finalize a divorce in the future in case the idea of reconciliation fails.
- Permanent Separation
If the couples live separately without any hopes of reconciliation in the future, they are considered permanently separated.
A permanent separation can significantly change the property rights between the partners. In some states, the property acquired by the spouses during the permanent separation period is considered personal property. Those assets belong only to the spouse who earned them. Along with that, the responsibility of debt falls on the respective spouse only instead of both.
- Legal Separation
Filing a petition in a family court means a spouse can legally separate from their partner. Legal separation is different from divorce or marriage as the status of marital life does not remain the same, but the spouses cannot have other partners as well.
A judge grants the petition for legal separation. The petition entails the terms and conditions regarding property division, alimony, child custody, and support.
A legal separation process is similar to a divorce. If the spouses finalize divorce after legal separation, they can use the terms and conditions decided during the marital settlement agreement.
Couples mostly go down the route of legal separation as an alternative to divorce due to religious beliefs. It also helps to secure the family into staying together by law.