The main difference between legal separation and divorce in California is that legal separation allows couples to live separately while remaining legally married, while divorce terminates the marriage and allows the couple to remarry.
The dissolution of marriage or “divorce” is a final and complete way for a couple to put end to their relationship. Essentially the procedure for legal separation and divorce are the same. The court will determine child support, custody and visitation, and property division. However, in a legal separation the court will not terminate your marital status.
With a legal separation, you will still be married, but will have property divided, support orders and even custody and visitation orders. So procedurally there is not much difference between legal separation and divorce. However, if the legal separation goes to judgment, then you will have to file a new case for divorce and pay the first appearance fee again.
Legal separation is also different than a California divorce because:
However, if one parties files for legal separation and the other files for divorce, the case will proceed as a divorce unless there is an agreement otherwise.
Please contact the Law Offices of H. William Edgar to discuss the difference between legal separation and divorce.
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