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Brandon Law Group
Specializing In Family Law Litigation And Mediation

Divorce And Legal Separation In California

Divorce and legal separation can trigger times of extreme emotional upheaval. They also are times when you have personal and financial interests that need to be protected.

At Brandon Law Group, we bring decades of experience to solving issues involved in divorce and legal separation. Attorney Lisa Brandon is certified in family law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Ms. Brandon often handles cases involving complex issues such as allegations of mental illness, domestic violence, significant assets, business valuation and other disputes.

Our law office is in Seal Beach, California, and we handle divorce and legal separation cases throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties. Call 562-901-9800 for a free half-hour consultation.

What Is The Difference Between Legal Separation And Divorce?

A divorce terminates the marital relationship. A legal separation doesn't. Otherwise, the two legal actions are the same. Both provide for a division of marital property, alimony and contributions toward attorney fees. Both provide a custody order for minor children.

Legal separation is identical to divorce in every respect, except you and your spouse will remain legally married. You and your spouse may choose to be legally separated rather than divorced for several reasons. A spouse would be entitled to medical insurance under employer-sponsored health benefits following a legal separation. A separated spouse would also be entitled to be a beneficiary under the other spouse's life insurance.

When Can I File For Divorce Or Legal Separation?

You do not have to establish residency in California to file for legal separation. However, before the court can divorce you and address issues such as marital property division and child custody, you must live in California and in the county where you file for divorce for three months.

If you want a legal separation instead of a divorce, you can file the first day you live in California. If you choose, you can later amend your legal separation action to divorce.

How Is Marital Property Divided?

California is a community property state. This means everything acquired during the marriage is subject to division — though not necessarily 50-50. Fault in the breakup of the marriage is not a consideration in how property is divided.

Valuing and dividing marital property can be extremely complex, especially when businesses, rental property, inherited property, separate property and contributions to a spouse's separate property are involved. A prenuptial agreement can determine how marital property is divided in the event of a divorce. Otherwise, the person who owns separate property has an obligation to trace ownership back to its origination.

Learn more about the process of divorce in California.

For More Information About Divorce And Legal Separation

We offer a free, 30-minute lawyer consultation to discuss the issues involved in your divorce or legal separation. Call 562-901-9800 or complete our simple contact form.

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