San Jose Legal Separation Attorney
A legal separation is a court order that sets out the rights and responsibilities (financial, custodial, etc.) of married spouses when they wish to lead separate lives. While all other issues of the marriage are settled in the separation agreement, the separated couple remains legally married.
At the Law Offices of Steven A. Dinneen P.C., our team of family law attorneys can answer any questions you may have about legal separations. With more than 25 years of experience, we are dedicated to only family law matters. Because of our singular focus, we can offer you the most efficient and effective service for your family law issues as possible.
What You Should Know About Legal Separations
While separation is often the first step toward divorce and can set precedents for the divorce, it is not the same thing, nor does it necessarily have to culminate in divorce. Couples may wish to file for a legal separation for a variety of reasons, for example:
- To determine temporary financial and custodial arrangements for the family before filing for divorce
- As an alternative to divorce, if there are religious/moral objections to divorce and the parties intend to be permanently legally separated
- As a cooling-off period, during which the couple has the option to reconcile
In some states, a period of legal separation is required before the couple can get a divorce, while in other states separation is merely another marker of eligibility for divorce. The period of legal separation before divorce can last between six months and two years.
To file for a legal separation you must do the following:
- Decide whether you need a lawyer
- Meet the residency requirements of the state in which you wish to file
- Determine child custody and support, visitation rights, spousal alimony, and division of property, assets and debt. You will need to have all your financial information available when drawing up this part of the separation agreement, such as monthly bank statements, credit reports or loan agreements
- Have the separation agreement notarized with the signatures of both parties
The legal separation process can be complex. But an experienced lawyer can guide you through the process and help you make decisions that will be best for you and your family, now and in the future.
Discuss Your Options Today
Legal separation can be a good way to evaluate the future of your marriage. To see if this is right for your marriage, contact us to discuss your options. If you are in the San Jose area, call us at 408-645-0011 or email us here to schedule your 30-minute free initial consultation today.