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cfortunato
cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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If my wife and I are legally separated and living in separate

Customer Question

If my wife and I are legally separated and living in separate California homes, are we each entitled to the Homestead exemption?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.
Hi JACustomer,
"If the judgment debtor and spouse of the judgment debtor reside in separate households, only the homestead of one of the spouses is exempt." California Stat. 704.720.

I think this is what you wanted to know. If not, please let me know.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So, legally separated does not make any difference in bunkroptcy for homestead?
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.
That is correct. For Bankruptcy purposes, "legally separated" is married.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

When a married couple has legally separated, they can file separately, and each would then be entitled to the homestead exemption. That is the answer I have recieved from Just answer earlier. So what is the right answer?

Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.
There is a difference between "legally separated" and not "legally separated" but filing separately, and as I am not sure how this is handled in California, I will opt out so that someone else can help you further.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Since the lawyer decided opt out so I have to ask someone else to help me further. When a married couple has legally separated, they can file separately, and each would then be entitled to the homestead and other exemptions and save their prime residenses if the equity is less than 75000 on each of the homes?
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.

Cal. Stat. 704.720 does not apply to a married couple that is legally separated and living in separate households. Cal. Stat. 704.710(d).

In other words, if a married couple is legally separated per a court decree, they are each entitled to a homestead exemption - as if they were not married.

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

"If my wife and I are legally separated and living in separate California homes, are we each entitled to the Homestead exemption? that was my question on Nov 4 2011

 

You have received an Answer!

From cfortunato

Friday, November 04, 2011 5:58 AM EST

Hi JACustomer,
"If the judgment debtor and spouse of the judgment debtor reside in separate households, only the homestead of one of the spouses is exempt." California Stat. 704.720.That was your answer than. Now you gave me different answer on the same question. Would you please clarify . Thank you

Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.
I should have asked if you had a judgment of separation.
If you have a judgment of separation, you are each entitled to a homestead exemption.
If there is no judgment of separation, you only entitled to one homestead exemption between both of you.
cfortunato and other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
How long does it take to get judgment of separation in California? What is the procedure of getting a judgment of separation?
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.
I am not a Family Law expert. You can ask that question in the Family Law section.