Legal Separation Or Divorce – Santa Clarita
There is a lot of confusion regarding what legal separation really is and what it means.
I get the question about legal separation in two different ways. The first is when folks tell me they want to file for legal separation. After speaking to them, it is determined that what they are trying to achieve is to have separate assets and debts and cut the ties on community property.
The other way I have been asked is when going through the divorce process. I have had clients ask if they are legally separated yet. When someone says they want to be legally separated, they would have to go through the exact same process as divorce.
I think the confusion if over the word “legally”. To be legally separated, you would have to go through a court action to be separated and have a court sign an order that says you are separated. You would follow the same steps of divorce, splitting your assets and debts a developing a custody and visitation schedule for your children.
When you file for divorce, one of the items you will determine is what your date of separation is. The date of separation can be determined a few different ways. It could be the day you moved out, the day you spoke to your spouse about getting divorced or even the day you file for divorce.
The date of separation you decide on will be the date where you no longer have community assets and debts accumulating. This means that as of the date of separation, any assets or debt you obtain are your own.
This is, of course, something you should speak to an attorney about if you and your spouse are contesting anything, because the laws about community and separate property are not absolute.
The date of separation is generally never and issue in the divorce cases we handle and our clients generally agree on the date when they decided to go their separate ways.