Is Legal Separation Or Annulment Right For You?
Some people choose options other than a traditional divorce when they wish to end a marriage. Legal separation and annulment are possibilities in some cases.
The California family law attorneys at Larose Law, in Fremont and Walnut Creek can explain whether these options are right for you and your family. We have the experience to recommend a solution that will work for you.
Why Get A Legal Separation?
Some seek a legal separation so that they can remain on the other spouse’s employment-provided health insurance. Some seek a legal separation because a traditional divorce is looked upon with disfavor by their religion. Some seek a legal separation because they have not yet formed an intent to actually divorce, but want to separate the estate in the meantime.
Unlike a divorce, you cannot receive a legal separation without the consent of your spouse. Once you do, then almost everything that is done in a divorce (custody, visitation, support, allocation of property, etc.) is done in an action for legal separation.
The Date Of Separation
The “date of separation” is very important. It is the date that re-establishes separate property rights. The “date of separation” is often confused with a judgment for “legal separation,” which is explained above.
The date of separation is that date when a spouse decided the marriage was over and then took some action, like moving out of the home, that clearly shows the spouse decided the marriage was over. On that date, each spouse’s separate property rights are established. For example, debts incurred are usually the separate debt of the spouse incurring the debt. Contributions into a 401(k) may now belong entirely to the contributing spouse. Though a spouse may not file for divorce a year or two later, the law looks back at the “date of separation” as the line when separate property rights were re-established and community property accrual presumptions terminated.
The Annulment Process
Clients seek to annul their marriage for various reasons. Some seek to annul because promises and certain expectations were not met. Some marriages may have been illegal right from the start, and clients seek to return themselves to the status they had.