Palm Springs Separation Attorney
What are the Differences Between Legal and Physical Separation?
Physical and legal separation are two distinct concepts in California. Physical separation deals with that ephemeral point in time where one or both spouses
means that one or both parties has ceased the intimate aspects of the relationship and has a present intent to sever it. It often becomes a factual question that is hotly disputed in dissolution cases because significant consequences flow from a physical separation: Upon separation earnings and accumulations, and debts, belong to the party who generates them. This is the opposite of what happens for spouses and domestic partners when they are not separated, when all assets and debts become community property. In addition, length of marriage or domestic partnership for purposes of evaluating the extent of spousal support rights and obligations does not add the period after separation and prior to a Judgment of Dissolution. In order for a party asserting an earlier date of separation to prevail, they must generally establish both subjective (proof of intent) and objective evidence (behavior consistent with that intent, like moving out of the home).
Physical separation is not dependent upon the filing of any legal action although it may include a filing for Dissolution of Marriage or Domestic Partnership, or a Petition for Legal Separation (indeed, it is often evidenced by such a filing). Physical separation is a consequence of two people establishing two different households with an intention to continue with their lives, separately, and on their own.
Legal Separation is a Decree or Judgment with all the attributes of a divorce judgment except one: Marital status is not terminated and, for instance, neither party can remarry or enter into a new domestic partnership. For example, child custody, property division and child support and spousal support may all be addressed in a legal separation, just as they would in a dissolution. Parties who undergo a legal separation cannot marry another person until there is a later decree dissolving the marriage or upon the death of one spouse.
There are many reasons why spouses may wish to separate their affairs and yet remain legally married or as domestic partners . A couple may wish to seek a legal separation for religious or personal reasons, so they may remain legally married or as domestic partners while living separate lives. For married couples, one argument for legal separation is that there are significant health insurance consequences upon divorce: Under federal COBRA legislation health insurance coverage is lost soon (between 18 to 36 months) after marital status is terminated. Other economic consequences involve tax planning, or estate planning. In a compassionate breakup where a new marriage is not expected, legal separation can be a beneficial alternative to divorce in order to preserve certain benefits and protections to both persons.
In some cases, spouses may wish to separate in order to take a 'time-out' to make a decision about whether to go through with a divorce sometime later. It can give each spouse the breathing room they need to rethink their future together.
To be eligible to file a dissolution of any kind in California you must reside in this State for at least 6 months. You do not need to establish residency in California in order to file a Petition for Legal Separation. This means that you can avail yourself of protections in this state under while you establish residency here, and later amend your pleadings to seek a dissolution.
Interested in exploring your options in regards to a legal separation?
Thurman W. Arnold offers a free consultation to discuss your case and address your particular needs. He has personally been representing clients in family law
and divorce proceedings throughout the Coachella Valley since 1982. We accept cases throughout the Coachella Valley from our offices in Palm Springs, including in Indio, La Quinta, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, and Desert Hot Springs, and in the Hi-Desert and eastern San Bernardino county areas.
Contact Palm Springs separation lawyer
Thurman W. Arnold today!
We serve clients wanting a legal separation particularly within the desert cities of
Palm Springs, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Joshua Tree, Blythe, Hemet, Twenty-Nine Palms,
Cathedral City, Indio, Desert Hot Springs, Yucca Valley, Riverside, and Rancho Cucamonga!