If you are planning to file for legal separation in California, it is more complicated than going down to the courthouse and filling out a few forms. You will be required to pay court fees and there will be legally binding documents to review. This is why we strongly recommend working with a family law attorney who can help. Read on for more facts and then contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908 for a free legal consultation.
The Cost of Filing for a Legal Separation
Legal separation allows the member of a marriage to live apart while legally being married. During this separation, they have the same responsibilities to one another, legally speaking, as if they were still together. The cost will depend on a few factors but the court cost will be $435 as of October 30, 2019. However, we recommend having an experienced attorney help you with this to ensure your rights are protected.
The Three Ways a Married Couple Can Uncouple in California
There are three ways in which a married couple can uncouple:
- Annulment. This is a legal process in which the court dissolves a marriage. There are specific situations in which annulments are valid, such as when one party was forced into the marriage or the marriage was incestuous. An annulment essentially erases the fact that the couple was ever married.
- Divorce. This is the most common way in which a marriage is legally ended. It involves dividing property, determining alimony, and, if there are children, determining support and custody for those children.
- Legal separation. A legal separation also ends a person’s marriage but is very different because the couple stays married while the others end the marriage. A person who is legally separated cannot marry someone else. They can separate property, have child custody and child support agreements and may be eligible to receive alimony.
The best option is generally divorce but there are specific situations in which this is not true.
Is it Necessary to Hire an Attorney if I Want to File for Legal Separation?
It is wise to have an attorney by your side. It may seem as simple as filling out a form but if you have property together, pets together, live together, have children together, or one of you makes more money than the other, then there are legal ramifications that you may not expect. Dealing with federal income taxes alone can be a pain.
The good news is that you can contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell now by calling us at (909) 920-0908. We will provide a free legal consultation so that you understand what your options are and how you can best move forward.