We do not require a retainer. Fortunately, when the Pandemic hit us in March 2020, we had already been a paperless office for many years with two cloud based case management systems. However, the Pandemic propelled us to make many improvements to our client service protocols, retainer requirements, direct calendaring, electronic exchanges and remote systems being some examples. This has allowed our firm to concentrate more on client service and less on wasteful antiquated management systems. If you entrust us with your family law matter, you'll be in excellent hands.

When It's Over,
It's time to move on

Understanding The Differences Of Divorce & Separation

Deciding to end a marriage is a significant and often challenging decision that couples face. In California, individuals have the option to pursue either a divorce or a legal separation, each with its unique implications and processes. This blog aims to shed light on the key differences between divorce and separation in California, helping you make an informed decision that best suits your situation.

Divorce In California

A divorce, legally termed as “dissolution of marriage,” puts an end to a marriage, allowing both parties to remarry if they wish. In California, which is a no-fault divorce state, either spouse can file for divorce, stating that the couple has “irreconcilable differences.” This means that the filing spouse does not need to prove any wrongdoing by the other party.

The process of divorce involves dividing marital assets and debts, determining spousal support, and if applicable, making child custody and support arrangements. In California, there is a mandatory six-month waiting period from the time the divorce papers are served until the divorce is finalized.

Legal Separation In California

On the other hand, a legal separation does not end the marriage. Instead, it allows couples to live separately while remaining legally married. This option might be preferable for couples who have religious or moral objections to divorce, need to maintain certain benefits like health insurance, or are not entirely sure they want to end their marriage.

Similar to divorce, legal separation requires the division of assets and debts, and arrangements for child custody, support, and spousal support need to be made. However, since the marriage is not dissolved, neither party can remarry unless they convert the legal separation into a divorce.

Key Differences

While both divorce and legal separation deal with similar issues like property division and child custody, the most significant difference lies in the status of the marriage. A divorce ends the marriage, while a legal separation allows the parties to live apart without ending the marital status.

When To Seek Professional Help

Deciding between divorce and legal separation is a complex choice that depends on your unique circumstances, goals, and values. It is crucial to seek professional legal advice to understand the legal and financial implications of each option.

If you are in Alameda County, CA, and are considering a legal separation or divorce, consulting with an Alameda County CA Legal Separation Lawyer can provide clarity and guidance tailored to your specific situation. An experienced lawyer can help navigate the complexities of California family law, ensuring that your rights are protected and your needs are addressed.

Whether you are leaning towards a divorce or a legal separation in California, understanding the key differences and implications of each option is essential. Both paths have significant legal, financial, and emotional impacts, and the decision should not be taken lightly.

At Attorney Bernie, we understand the weight of this decision and are here to provide the support, advice, and legal expertise you need. Let’s navigate this challenging time together and find the solution that best meets your needs and goals. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a clearer future.

San Francisco

1 Sansome Street
Suite 3500
San Francisco, CA 94104

(415) 688-2400


1301 G Street
Suite A
Modesto, CA 95354

(415) 688-2400