One of the hardest decisions a family can make is deciding to petition for a legal separation. It can create financial hardship and place stress on the individual parties, not to mention the child involved. The choice to legally separate is never an easy one and usually is a result of agonizing decision making. Attorneys who specialize in legal separation law can explain your rights and help you understand the complexities that occur during the process.

It is important to know the steps involved in obtaining a legal separation, which does not end a marriage or domestic partnership. Couples must make decisions about money, parenting and property when entering a legal separation. The process begins with a petition. The party who files the first document is the petitioner; the other party is the respondent. As the petitioner, you will need to formally serve a copy of the endorsed filed petition. Your spouse will have 30 days to respond. As the petitioner, you also may need to consider filing additional documents if you have minor children.

It is important to remember you cannot re-marry or enter into a new partnership during a legal separation. Additionally, parties can ask a judge for child support, spousal or partner support, restraining orders, custody and visitation when seeking legal separation.

California has very specific and complex rules about how the defendant receives the papers in a legal separation proceeding. It may be best for you to hire an attorney who can help guide you through this process.

Also, if you have concerns about how your legal separation may affect your immigration status, we recommend that you give us a call. We also can help keep you protected in the event that domestic violence is an issue as you are going through the process of a legal separation.

The international divorce lawyers of Ideal Legal Group offer important assistance and advice to help streamline the legal separation process. For more than a decade, we have helped families navigate through the difficult terrain of divorce proceedings. To find out more about legal separation law, contact the international family law attorneys of Ideal Legal Group for a free consultation at (626) 569-1882 or

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