Can I file for a legal separation in California if real property is owned?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Yes. A legal separation is essentially identical to a divorce. There are only two significant differences. 1. Due to an old fashioned law, you cannot ask the court for a final judgment of divorce until six months after you file. That does not apply to legal separation. 2. In a legal separation you remain legally married. This has significant tax, insurance, inheritance and related implications that may or may not be favorable. Also it means you can never re-marry unless you go back and go through a divorce later. For most people, unless they have a religious reason that they must not divorce, or they have some very special tax, estate planning, or personal financial reasons that lead their financial advisers to recommend they not divorce, a simple divorce is far better and cleaner than a legal separation. A legal separation involves all the trouble and legal proceedings of a divorce only to leave you still married. Not much point in that for most people.