Should I get a legal separation from my husband? 3 Answers as of March 28, 2011

My husband and I have been separated for 6 months, meaning that he moved out of our home. Are there any legal benefits to us getting a legal separation? If we decide to get divorced, will having a legal separation impact anything?

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Goldberg Jones
Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
There are pros and cons to getting a legal separation and it may have a big impact on support issues as well as the asset division. However it is not a necessary step in a divorce, so it may just be a waste of time and money. Call me or another attorney to get a more specific answer to your question.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/28/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
The only legal benefits that come to mind if you get a Legal Separation would be that you could remain covered on your husband's employment-related health insurance. A Legal Separation is the same as a divorce in all aspects EXCEPT that you remain married to him. Most people who seek a Legal Separation do so for religious or health insurance reasons, but the Respondent in the case can file to request a Dissolution of Marriage (a Divorce), so the choice is not yours alone, as to whether you will get a Legal Separation or a Divorce. Disadvantages of getting a Legal Separation include the fact that each of you will have to file income tax returns as Married Filing Separately (with its higher marginal tax rate) or Joint Returns, until your marriage is ultimately dissolved, and the fact that it will require an entirely new lawsuit for Dissolution of Marriage for you to divorce your husband, including the requisite 6-month delay in dissolving marital status. Under your circumstances, it may be better for you to file for a Dissolution of Marriage than for a Legal Separation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/28/2011
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
Unless you have a religious or health reason for getting a legal separation, I generally don't suggest that parties go for a legal separation. While your finances will be divided at the end of a legal separation, you cannot remarry until a judgment of divorce is granted and you would have to start all over to get a judgment of divorce (including a six month wait). If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/28/2011
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