In California, couples who aren’t sure if they are ready for a divorce have another option. A legal separation allows each party to conduct separate lives while continuing to receive the benefits of being married. A Dissolution Legal Separation Lawyer in Oceanside, CA offers assistance and guidance for couples who want to establish a legal separation.
The Marital Property
The first element of the agreement is the marital property. Each party is advised to review all properties owned jointly that were not obtained through inheritance or owned by an outside party. A legal separation allows the couple to establish a plan for dividing their assets equally.
Child Custody and Support Arrangements
Child custody and support arrangements are also established during a legal separation. The difference between the arrangements in a legal separation and divorce is that I a legal separation it is less likely that either party could acquire sole custody. Circumstances in which a child is in serious risk often warrant a sole custody assignment. However, if the other parent is a serious risk to the child, it is often recommended that the party should file for a divorce instead of a legal separation.
Managing Existing Debts Accumulated During the Marriage
A legal separation doesn’t allow either party to fail to fulfill their obligations to creditors. Since the couple remains married, each party remains responsible for joint debts. The separation agreement must outline a plan for the parties to manage any debts accumulated during their marriage.
Filing Tax Returns
Since the couple is still married, it is necessary for them to continue to file their tax returns in the same manner as they have previously. The separation agreement could, however, outline which party receives the tax refund or explain how it should be split between the parties.
In California, couples who want to establish a legal separation must start by creating an amicable agreement that benefits each party. The agreements outline the terms of the separation. Once the legal separation is finalized, the parties cannot accuse their spouse of infidelity in a future divorce case. Couples who want to start the process should Schedule an appointment right now.