Legal Separation Attorney in Santa Maria
What Does Legal Separation Mean in California?
In California, legal separation is defined as an alternative to divorce,
allowing a couple to divide their assets, debts, and go their separate
ways while still maintaining legal married status. Sometimes individuals
choose to legally separate for personal, religious, or financial reasons
instead of filing for divorce.
The couple will still need to address the same issues hashed out in a traditional
divorce, as required by a court order.
Issues that must be determined in legal separation include:
If you wish to legally separate, seek the reliable guidance of
our legal team at the
Law Offices of R. Morgan Holland, L.C. Our
Santa Maria divorce lawyer can provide you with the careful and meticulous legal services you need
to ensure your rights and interests are protected. We will handle all
the legal paperwork required while also keeping you informed regarding
the progress of your separation proceedings. As our client, you can leave
the worrying to us so you can focus on the next chapter of your life.
San Luis Obispo Divorce Attorney with 30+ Years' Experience
our founding lawyer has provided high-quality legal representation to
thousands of clients. We are aware that the decision to legally separate can be just as difficult
and emotionally draining as choosing to divorce. This is why we strive
to make the process as easy and less overwhelming as possible by offering
our clients the compassion and confidentiality they seek during this stressful time.
We also recognize that every family is unique and that there are no one-size-fits-all
solutions. This is why we offer
personalized and tailored counsel for you and your family. Getting the most out of your legal separation
case means receiving the highest level of personal attention and focus
possible – and this is exactly what we can deliver.
Contact us online or call 805.762.4465 to schedule a consultation with a legal separation
attorney in Santa Maria.
Frequently Asked Questions About Legal Separation in California
What is involved in a date of separation?
- The date of separation is a seemingly innocent question posed by the divorce
petitioner. Many individuals fill it in without much deliberation. Some
merely adopt their spouse' stated date of separation. However, when
committing to a date of separation or divorce filing careful thought and
consideration should be made.
- In a dissolution, the date of separation controls many issues that must
be decided by the Court. The date of separation is the date upon which
the courts separate the community property, debts, income, and usually
expenses. If you simply agree to a date of separation that is a month
earlier than it should be, you may be giving up ½ of your earnings
for that month. Contributions to your retirement made in that month by
you and your employer would suddenly belong ½ to your spouse.
- Likewise, if your spouse became irresponsible during that month and began
creating a lot of debt, the later date of separation may cause you to
be responsible for ½ of that. Likewise, an earlier date of separation
can be problematic. If you simply agree to a date of separation you may
be losing the benefit of your spouse's responsibility for expenditures
that you made for his or her benefit as well during that time. I am thinking
of expenditures for items such as groceries, rent, vacation, utilities, etc.
- The date of separation can affect whether the law deems your marriage a
short-term marriage that has a defined term for alimony, or a long-term
marriage where alimony may be paid/received for the remainder of your life.
When is your date of separation?
The legal definition of the date of separation in California is when: "…the
parties have come to a parting of the ways with no present intent to resume
their marriage and their conduct evidences a complete and final break
in the marital relationship. " See
Marriage of Hardin (1995) 38 Cal App. 4
th 448. There is a subjective, mental aspect as well as an objective component
that must be met. I can recall one case a couple of years ago where the
other spouse stated a date of separation in their petition. My client
disagreed. On cross examination the other spouse admitted that they had
not decided in their own mind that the marriage was over until just before
trial. That was about a year after the petition was filed. That was a
year of heavy litigation with hearings almost monthly. Needless to say,
their attorney was not happy with the surprise effect this had on the
issues in the case.
- In short, there are a lot of good reasons to think about that question
and perhaps get counsel on what it will mean to you.
For trusted legal guidance, consult the Law Offices of R. Morgan Holland, L.C.
If you would like to discuss your separation case with us, please do not
hesitate to request a thorough
case analysis with our legal team. During this 30-minute, in-person meeting, you will
be able to obtain an estimate regarding the time and cost for your case.
Call our Santa Maria legal separation lawyer
today to get started.