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Family Legal Decisions: Legal Separation or Divorce?

Sep 15, 2008
When their marriage is on the rocks, some couples are reluctant to jump directly into a divorce in the hopes that the problems can be resolved. They search for alternatives that will allow them time apart to review their situation and to have time to determine if a divorce is the only solution to their marital issues.

Some couples think that a Riverside county legal separation is this time out of sorts from their marriage and the alternative to divorce that they have been searching for. However, a Riverside county legal separation is not a minor undertaking as some may assume. There is a large amount of decision making that couples must go through and a legal separation can be just as stressful as a divorce. Family law is available to help with this process though and can assist with the decision on which is the best action for the spouses to take.

A Riverside county legal separation involves legal action within a court, much the same as a divorce settlement, only, in the end, the couple is still married. When a separation is filed, the court is given the authority to make rulings regarding the marriage. These rulings can include the division of marital assets, assigning custody and stipulating support payments if children are involved, and deciding who will be required to pay what debts. Although a legal separation involves many of the same actions as a Riverside county divorce, the spouses are required to file additional paperwork to turn the legal separation into a Riverside county divorce if the separation does not produce the results they were seeking when entering the situation.

Unlike a Riverside county divorce, both spouses have to agree to the Riverside county legal separation. Additionally, unlike a divorce, there is no waiting period to complete a separation. There are several reasons why separations are chosen instead of terminating marriages. Some reasons why spouses choose a separation instead of a divorce include religious views (if divorce is against their religion), and also if a spouse is in need of ongoing medical attention and needs to remain eligible for medical insurance that would be lost in a divorce.

In addition, unlike a divorce, after a Riverside county legal separation is completed, a marriage is still in effect, although it is only in name. This means that, although the responsibilities of a marriage are no longer required of the spouses, neither spouse will be able to remarry unless a divorce is completed.

Family law can help a great deal in deciding whether to file for a Riverside county legal separation or a divorce. There are many factors to weigh and a legal professional is equipped with the knowledge to effectively address those factors. A legal separation is not just a time out from a marriage and family law can help spouses understand this and take the action that is appropriate for their situation. It is a stressful time when marriages fall apart and spouses have many factors to weigh before they choose the route that is best for them.
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