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I live in California and my wife wants a legal separation. I…

I live in California and...
I live in California and my wife wants a legal separation. I know they are rare and often lead to divorce, and have many more similarities than difference. The biggest difference I can see is that with divorce, all assets are community property and split 50/50. Whereas with legal separation, one side can attempt to negotiate a better deal in mediation that, if agreed upon, the judge is likely to stick with the terms should it lead to divorce. We have young children and I desperately want to believe reconciliation is possible, but I need to protect myself. So my question is this: Have you ever seen legal separation used as a negotiating ploy by a petitioner to get themselves a better deal than they would've in divorce?
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12/7/2017
RayAnswers
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Category: Family Law
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Experience: 30 years as a family law lawyer .
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Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

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Realistically property division here is going to be close to 50-50% whether you divorce or legally separate.I have not seen many separations where they reconcile.I have seen situation where they file and then get back together quickly.But if you spend the time dividing up the assets here divorce is pretty simple from there, not much left to deal with.

You can try to get a little better deal here, maybe you can get the other party to agree to that.It doesn't hurt to try.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.I wish you the best here.

If you can positive rate 5 stars it is much appreciated.

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A legal separation allows a couple to live separately but remain married. During a period of legal separation, neither spouse may remarry or enter a domestic partnership. The procedure for legal separation in California is very similar to that of divorce. Where appropriate, a court will decide on issues such as custody of children and division of property. To minimize both cost and paperwork, you should try to reach agreement with your spouse on as many issues as possible before commencing legal separation proceedings

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A Separation Agreement is different from the formal process of getting “legally separated.” In California, spouses that have decided to separate may enter into a “separation agreement,” which is a legally binding contract that deals with all aspects of their separation, including issues of child support and visitation (if there are children), property division and alimony. However, unlike obtaining an official “legal separation,” you don't have to go to court to enter into a separation agreement with your spouse.

A separation agreement allows couples to address important issues that will come up during their separation period, including:

  • where the children will live
  • when the children will spend time with each parent
  • how the couple will pay living expenses, such as rent and/or mortgage payments, utilities, taxes, health care costs and groceries during separation
  • whether either spouse will pay child support and/or alimony during separation
  • how the couple will manage assets (for example, bank accounts or investments) during the separation period
  • whether the couple will divide or sell any property during the separation period, and
  • how property and income obtained after the date of the separation will be treated (post-separation income is typically considered separate property of the spouse that earns it, but couples may want to make sure that provision is in writing so there's no confusion later, or couples can agree to treat it differently).
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RayAnswers, Lawyer
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
We already filed and met with a mediator. I ma being absurdly generous. All I want is a fair share of our home's market value. She is younger and inexperienced and believes all I'd want back is what I contributed to the downpayment nearly two years, despite the house's significant appreciation.

So see what you can agree to and cut your losses.Best you can do to take care of yourself.Keep your chin up here.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Do you have to go to court if you reach an agreement amicably through a mediator?

You would need court to approve the legal separation.But only the one filing brings agreement and court signs it.Pretty simple like uncontested divorce.

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