Filing For Legal Separation Is Not Faster | Santa Clarita Divorce

We have been writing a lot about legal separation vs divorce lately because we are trying to clear some misconceptions up about legal separation.  In this article we are discussing why filing for legal separation is not faster than filing for divorce.

In the other articles we discussed the fact that Yes, we do handle legal separation cases and the differences between legal separation and divorce.

I received a call yesterday where the parties wanted to legally separate because they thought it would be faster than filing for divorce.  This is just not true.

The main reason people think that legal separation is faster in California is because unlike divorce, you don’t have the 6 month cooling off period.  Let me discuss what that is real quick.

When you go through a divorce in California, you have to wait 6 months before your divorce can be finalized.  That is not the case with legal separation.  However, the cooling off period is not the reason a divorce will take 6 months.

Currently, the Los Angeles County Courts are experiencing huge delays in filing of their divorce and legal separation cases.  To get your case reviewed and approved, it is taking up to 9 months to have your divorce or legal separation case completed.

Perfect World vs. Real World

In a perfect world, a legal separation case is technically faster because there is no waiting period before the judge can sign off on it.  So in a perfect world, you could file your legal separation case, serve your spouse, fill out all the remaining forms and walk up to the judge and get it signed.  And it would be done.  Your legal separation would be completed.

In the real world, this is just not possible.  You would file your legal separation case, serve your spouse, fill out all the remaining forms and then submit your judgment to the court.  Then you will wait…., wait…., and wait some more.  Right now as much as 9 months, but usually around 6 months due to the courts existing backlog.

With this being said, legal separation is going to take just as long as a divorce.

I hope that answers the question on whether legal separation is faster than divorce.  I know there is a lot of information out there but unfortunately they do not apply the information to real world scenarios.

Yes We Do Legal Separation Cases In Santa Clarita

We have been getting a lot of calls from people who want to file for legal separation so I felt another article about legal separation was warranted.

First let me answer the first question we get about legal separation which is, “Do you guys (us) do Legal Separation cases?”.

The answer is, “Yes we do Legal Separation Cases

But… Whenever someone calls us with legal separation questions, I always make sure to find out why they are thinking about filing for legal separation instead of divorce.

I wrote a great article about the differences between legal separation and divorce (click on that link to read it) and I usually talk people out of filing for legal separation.

Here is why.

There are only a few reasons why people should file for legal separation. The first being religious.  Some people’s religion prohibits or frowns upon divorce.  Another reason is for medical reasons.  If you get divorced your spouse is not longer a dependent and can no longer be on your healthcare.  Where a illness prevents them from getting their own insurance and you don’t plan on remarrying, this might be a good option.

Of all the calls we get for legal separation, only one really was a candidate for legal separation and had real reasons for the legal separati0n vs divorce.

Most of the people who have called for legal separation think it is better to first legally separate before filing for divorce.  Sometimes, they think doing the legal separation is faster, but it is not.

These folks have also said that they were later planning on divorcing after filing the legal separation.

Here is the problem with that.

The paperwork for divorce and separation are the same.  There is just one box that is checked differently.  If you go through the entire legal separation process and the judgment is approved and finalized and later you want to file for divorce, you will have to file an entirely new case.

You can’t just change a legal separation filing into divorce.  You would have to prepare a brand new divorce case, fill out all the same paperwork and pay the filing fees again.

We are a license and bonded legal document preparation firm that specializes in divorce (and legal separation).  Please give us a call for more information.



Legal Separation Or Divorce – Santa Clarita

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.