separation does not end a marriage or domestic partnership. You can't
marry or enter into a partnership with someone else if you are legally
separated (and not divorced). A legal separation is for couples that do
not want to get divorced but want to live apart and decide on money,
property, and parenting issues. Couples sometimes prefer separation for
not need to meet California's residency requirement to file for a legal
separation. If you file for a legal separation, you may later be able to
file an amended petition to ask the court for a divorce-after you meet
the residency requirements.
legal separation case, you can ask the judge for orders like child
support, spousal support, partner support, custody and visitation,
domestic violence restraining orders, or any other orders you can get
with a divorce case.
to initiate a legal separation case, you must prepare and file a Summons
and Petition together with any other applicable forms. Upon filing, the
Court issues your Summons and assigns you a case number. Your spouse
must be personally served with your Summons and other documents. You
can have anyone over the age of 18 serve your spouse at no cost or you
may choose to have our office have your spouse served by our registered
process servers at an additional fee.
spouse is served with your Summons and other documents, he or she will
have 30 days to file the appropriate documents in Court to contest your
matter or they can opt to do nothing.
spouse does not file the necessary documents with the Court to contest,
your legal separation may proceed by default. You must prepare and file
the default package with the Court. After the Court processes your
default package, you must then prepare and file the judgment package to
finalize your legal separation. If your legal separation includes the
issues of child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, or
division of assets and obligations, the Court may request that you
attend a Default Trial in order for the Judge to make a ruling on these
spouse does file the necessary documents with the Court to contest, you
must then complete your legal separation by either agreement or trial.
and your spouse can agree to all the issues involved in your legal
separation, i.e. child custody, visitation, child support,
spousal support, division of community assets and/or obligations,
confirmation of separate property, etc., your legal separation can be
completed by agreement. You and your spouse must complete all of the
necessary documents, including the agreement, in order to have the Court
finalize your legal separation.
If you and your spouse cannot agree to all of the issues involved in your
legal separation, then a trial date must be requested so that you can go
before a Judge in order to obtain your final legal separation judgment.
You must prepare all of the mandated trial documents and submit them in a
timely manner in order for your trial to proceed. If it becomes
necessary for you to go to trial, it is always recommended that you have an
attorney appear with you so that you have appropriate representation as this
hearing will result in the Judge rendering a decision on all issues and
finalizing your legal separation.
California, starting on January 1, 2005, domestic partners must also file
for dissolution, legal separation, or annulment to end their
relationship. The information above also applies to the legal separation
of a domestic partnership.
Telephone (310) 365-2800