Divorce Vs. Legal Separation In California

What's The Difference Between A California Divorce And Legal Separation


When it comes to the law, specificity is important. While divorce and legal separation both denote a "break-up" between two legally wed individuals, they both have different legal repercussions in the long run. Here's a quick guide to divorce and legal separation, as often handled by our prescreened California Family Law Attorneys.


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Divorce

Filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is the first step in a divorce. A case file is opened, and a judge is assigned when the petition is filed. A "summons" is a legal document that notifications that a lawsuit is pending. These documents are served on the respondent, who has 30 days to file their response.


In divorce disputes, the date on which the respondent's petition and summons are served is crucial. Before the parties to a divorce can have their marital status terminated, there is a mandatory waiting time, often known as a cooling-off period. The regulation is that there must be a six-month cooling-off period beginning on the date the respondent is served.


When the parties to a divorce case establish a formal agreement incorporated into a decision, or when the court makes a judgment following a trial, the case is considered closed.


To know more about your legal options, consult with a prescreened California Divorce Lawyer near you.


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Legal Separation

Legal separation cases begin with filing a Petition for Legal Separation, which is the same form used to file for dissolution of marriage. At the top of the form, the petitioner simply checks the box for Legal Separation rather than Dissolution of Marriage. Then, the case file is opened, a judge is assigned, and a summons is issued, much like a divorce. The responder has 30 days from the date of serving of the petition and summons to file their response.