A legal separation can be a “timeout” from marriage, a stepping stone to divorce, or an alternative to divorce. Whatever your reasons, a formal legal separation is a complex and serious matter. You need the counsel and representation of an experienced lawyer who can explain the pitfalls and make sure your interests are protected.

The Law Offices of Teresa A. Beyers represent either spouse in filing for a legal separation. Many of the same issues that apply in a divorce must be addressed in separation — children, property, debts, financial support. The only difference is that once the dust clears and the order is entered, you are still legally married.

Deciding If Legal Separation Makes Sense For You

Los Angeles attorney Teresa Beyers handles legal separations as well contested and uncontested divorces in the San Fernando Valley and Greater L.A. She can walk you through all the considerations so that you can arrange to live apart with clarity regarding finances, property, and co-parenting.

Although one party files the petition, both parties must agree to the separation. There are many reasons to pursue legal separation instead of a divorce:

  • Reconciliation — You may need time apart to determine whether you want to try to salvage the marriage. Once a divorce action is filed, it is hard to undo.
  • Religion or culture — Some couples choose to live separately, but stay legally married due to religious doctrine, cultural taboo, or family pressure.
  • Residency requirement — If you have not lived in California long enough to file for divorce, you can separate and later convert it to divorce.
  • Practical matters — The timing may be wrong for divorce because of kids, jobs, or other considerations. Legal separation may also allow one spouse to remain on the other’s health insurance.

Limitations of a Legal Separation in Los Angeles

A legal separation can offer a wide range of potential benefits to you, your spouse, and your children if you have any. However, to better determine if getting a legal separation instead of a divorce is right for you, it’s important that you also have a basic understanding of the limits involved in merely getting a legal separation as opposed to a divorce.

You can’t marry a new partner

First of all, while you may already have guessed this, when you get a legal separation, you cannot marry someone else. This only becomes an option after you get a divorce.

Thus, if you genuinely want to leave your spouse for someone else, but you believe you can appease them by agreeing to a legal separation instead of divorcing them entirely, you must rethink your strategy.

Divorce is the only way to achieve your ultimate goal. Getting a legal separation could merely drag out the process, adding more stress and pain to the lives of yourself, your spouse, and your children. It could also potentially generate tension between you and the new partner you wish to eventually marry.

Getting a legal separation can be complicated
The process of getting a legal separation isn’t necessarily “easier” than the process of getting a divorce. While Los Angeles legal separation attorney Teresa Beyers can absolutely assist you throughout all stages of the process if you decide to get a legal separation, she can do the same if you choose to get a divorce instead.

A legal separation can be confusing for children (and spouses)
Some couples with children have the best of intentions when they choose to get a legal separation. They may rightly understand that divorce can be very stressful and difficult for kids. As such, they might think that “experimenting” with a legal separation is better for their children in the long run.

Sometimes, they are correct. There are instances when two parents get a legal separation temporarily, only to eventually reconcile.

That doesn’t always happen. Again, you need to be honest with yourself when assessing whether you think your marriage has the potential to survive if you and your partner both have time to take a step back and get some perspective. If you can honestly say you’re fairly certain your marriage will end eventually, it may be best not to confuse your children or give them hope by starting off with a legal separation.

Additionally, while a Los Angeles legal separation attorney can help you navigate the formal, legal aspects of this arrangement, they may not have as much influence over such informal elements as the degree to which you and your partner understand the “personal” conditions of your situation. You may both know you know you can’t legally remarry, but you also both need to agree on whether you can participate in “unofficial” romantic relationships with other partners during the separation.

Absolutely none of this is meant to discourage you from getting a legal separation. It’s simply meant to encourage you to carefully consider all relevant factors when making your decision. Regardless of your choice, Los Angeles legal separation and divorce attorney Teresa Beyers will work hard to ensure what could be an overwhelming experience is much easier to cope with.

Teresa Beyers can address important issues in a legal separation, from child custody arrangements and interim child support to property division and spousal support. Whether you are entering legal separation as a holding pattern or as a prelude to divorce, she offers aggressive and strategic representation to protect you and position you for a favorable outcome.

Contact The Law Offices Of Teresa A. Beyers

Legal separation can be just as complicated and traumatic as divorce, for you and your children. We will help you make informed decisions and advocate for you in or out of court as you undertake this transition.

Los Angeles legal separation lawyer Teresa Beyers offers a free initial phone consultation and can meet clients after hours and on weekends by appointment.

Call 213-236-4400 or contact us online.

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