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Key considerations for legal separation

Divorce is not usually a quick decision. It takes intentional time and consideration.

For those who are not positive that divorce is the best option, it may be a good idea to explore legal separation. There are a few key facts to understand about legal separation versus divorce

Different from divorce

There are a few similarities between a legal separation and a divorce in regard to the process. However, the end results are quite different. Once a divorce becomes complete, spouses become separate entities again. On the other hand, a legal separation provides the structure of a divorce, including division of assets, support payments and a parenting plan where warranted, but the marriage remains intact. 

Requirements

As stated, there are several parts of the processes that are similar if not the same in regard to divorce and legal separation. In particular, most of the filing requirements for divorce and legal separation are the same except for the time restrictions. A party must reside in California for six months and within the county of filing for three months before filing for divorce. However, a party may file for separation before that time is reached. 

Benefits

There are possible benefits to undergoing a legal separation versus a divorce. First and foremost, for those who feel there may be a possibility of reconciliation, legal separation provides parties a chance to physically separate themselves and take some time to weigh the outcomes and determine what they truly want. For those who do not believe in divorce for certain reasons, such as their cultural beliefs, a legal separation allows them to remain within good standing while still receiving the space they need.

If you and your spouse are not seeing eye to eye, something does need to be done. To ensure that you make the right choice, it may be beneficial to have an open and honest dialogue with your significant other.

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