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Westlake Village Separation Lawyer

How is Legal Separation Different From Divorce?

It is important to understand that legal separation does not mean the marriage is over. The main difference between legal separation and divorce is that divorce is absolute and considered the final step. In California, legal separation works in very similar ways to divorce, however, you cannot marry another person unless you are divorced.

A skilled Westlake divorce & family attorney can assist you with filing for legal separation and help you understand your legal options. Some couples use legal separation as a trial period to get an idea of what life will be like if they divorce or to decide if divorce is the right decision. This is also the time to settle terms about issues such as child custody and visitation, which are often similar to the way divorces are handled.

What Is the Purpose of Legal Separation?

Legal separation allows couples to split up the responsibilities while still married, but living tier lives separate from each other while also maintaining legal rights. Some choose legal separation for a variety of reasons, such as religious beliefs. There are several other benefits that may be better for your personal circumstances.

Here are some of the key elements and benefits of legal separation:

  • The terms of separation are similar to a divorce. Each couple has the chance to decide whether or not he or she can continue living with the terms.
  • You do not need to maintain California residency for 6 months prior to filing, as opposed to divorce.
  • A spouse can continue to receive insurance coverage from the other spouse.
  • One or the other spouse may still be entitled to certain tax breaks.
  • Marital status is preserved in order to gain benefits, such as social security, which requires a minimum 10 years of marriage.
  • Your culture or religious beliefs do not allow divorce. Legal separation can allow you to live life as though you are not married, but you can still retain your marital status.

There are also some cases where a judge will need to order legal separation, if, for example, one spouse does not wish to divorce and refuses to comply with the proceedings. If you are the filing party, you have the burden of proving to the courts that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” and there is no chance of reconciliation as a result. I urge you to discuss your case with a skilled and knowledgeable Westlake Village family law attorney to iron out the details and find a plan that is most ideal.

Free Initial Consultation. Call My Westlake Village Family Law Firm Today!

With over 35 years of experience behind me, I, Attorney Jeffrey S. Graff, offer you legal advice and results-driven legal services. I have previously worked as Judge Pro Tem, as well as a mediator. I know how to handle difficult and often contentious situations, especially involving legal separation and divorce. I provide one-on-one counsel and give you undivided attention as we work through your case.

My firm, the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff has assisted clients throughout the Ventura area, including Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Newbury Park, and Calabasas. I am ready to help you—call today!

Hear it From Our
Happy Clients

  • I have faith in Jeffery Graff.

    “I am a battered woman. Jeffrey saw this when I walked in a year ago to hire him to get a divorce. I was not ready. I thought I could save my 27yr marriage. He knew I would be back when I was ready. He never pushed me to follow through, he waited for me to make to be ready for the long haul. I finally did it! I got tired of being abused in so many ways. Jeffery is a very patient man. I know he will take care of me!!!!! So far so good. I know he is going to keep me in my house for now or ever. He was honest and said we may have to sell but I know the job will get done in my best interest!”

    Former Client

  • I highly recommend!

    “My experience with Jeff's expertise was non other than A-one! He tackled my case swiftly and efficiently with the utmost professionalism. I highly recommend!”

    Former Client

  • I cannot give Jeffrey Graff enough accolades.

    “I knew Jeffrey personally as a proud family man and a pillar of the community with an stellar reputation as a family/divorce attorney. When my daughter was going through her divorce and had several bad experiences with two attorneys, in the Westlake Village area, I recommended Jeffery to her. After meeting with us to discuss the situation and issues, Jeffery and his staff went to work, we went to court, Jeffery not only got the results my daughter had hoped for, but also managed to have the opposing party cover his fees, he is beyond knowledgeable, professional and fair, he's brilliant at what he does and worth every penny. I have since recommended Jeffrey to all my friends and acquaintances who need legal help and will continue to do so. I cannot give Jeffrey Graff enough accolades and thanks for his help and exceptional negotiating skill in settling the case, thank you, again.”

    Dianne R.

  • He understands family dynamics because he has experience working with many different types!

    “Jeff is very kind and always takes time to listen to my issues and questions. He is very professional. Jeff is always prepared for court and his experience is obvious when you see that all the judges know him and regard him with great esteem. Jeff understands family dynamics because he has experience working with many different types of issues which characterized my case. If you would like to be able to trust that your lawyer is going to resolve your issue to the best possible outcome while being professional and courteous, Jeff Graff is the attorney for you.”

    Paul

  • Long story short, Jeff was able to get the monthly amount we paid cut down by more than half!!

    “Jeffrey handled my Family matter. Jeff is great!! He really helped me and my husband fight my husband’s ex. My husband got hurt at work and we were really having a tough time. My husband ex’s got a big child support order against my husband and we didn’t even know that she went to Jeffrey handled my family matter. Jeff is great!! He really helped me and my husband fight my husband’s ex-wife. My husband got hurt at work and we were really having a tough time. My husband ex-wife had a huge child support order against my husband and we didn’t even know that she went to court for that!! Then, she started coming after us for this big child support money every month. She wouldn’t even let her kids come over to visit with us and my kids, but just wanted the money and my husband wasn’t working. My co-worker went to Jeff for her divorce and she told me to call and talk to him. I am so thankful that I called him. I talked to him and he explained everything to me. I needed that because I didn’t know what to do. My husband and I met with him in his office. Jeff and the secretary were both so nice and very professional. I completely trust them! Long story short, Jeff was able to get the monthly amount my husband pays to his ex-wife cut down by more than half!! And on top of that got the judge to make my husband’s ex let the kids come and visit with my husband, who is still hurt, and my kids. Everything worked out so much better than I thought it could. I didn’t know we had a choice and that we could go to the judge to lower the support AND let us see the kids. I would recommend Jeff to anyone who need help with family law. Very Helpful.”

    Linda