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Legal Separation vs. Divorce

Under a legal separation you can still decide the factors that you would decide as if you are going through a divorce such as division of assets, child support, child custody, and spousal support (or spousal maintenance). However, the main difference between legal separation and divorce is that you are still married under legal separation and cannot remarry. People may choose to file for legal separation for religious reasons, or because they wish to be on each other’s health insurance, or simply because they are certain if they want a divorce. In California, the minimum wait time for a divorce is 6 months, and you must live in the state of California for 6 months to qualify for divorce. No such requirements exist for legal separation. You can convert your legal separation into a divorce, but there is additional paperwork required and potentially additional fees to the court. For more information about legal separation versus divorce, or any of our legal services, please call for a free legal consultation!

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