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.