Difference between divorce and legal separation

Legal separation and divorce are two different aspects. They might sound the same but both differ from each other in a large way. Hire a suitable San Jose divorce lawyer, who can tell you exactly what to do in the given situation. Find out all the pros and cons of both kinds of separation after you talk to a good divorce attorney San Jose.

Divorce and legal separation are two different things. Many people are unaware of this aspect and in fact a lot of people have been seen using both terms in place of each other. Before you plan to take a divorce, it is very essential that you know the different detour that can be taken. Or in other words, you should weigh your options well before you think about getting a divorce. Hence, consult your San Jose divorce lawyer before you take a final decision.

Let us begin our discussion by understanding what does legal separation exactly mean. According to the law, legal separation means that a married couple has decided to separate. They get separated through the process but are still married in a way. They even have the authority to become a married couple again and during this they will not need a certificate or consent from anyone.

On the other hand, a divorce is a complete separation of a married couple. After a divorce, the couple is no longer married and in case they want to get into the former relation again, they will have to remarry each other. For both kinds of separation you need an expert divorce attorney San Jose.

A major difference between the two is that in a legal separation, the couple does not have the right to marry anyone else other than the spouse. But after a divorce, the man and the woman are individuals again and they are free to marry anyone of their wish.

During a legal separation or a divorce, other procedures remain the same. Both have to get into child support and custody, spousal support, property separation and other similar aspects. So, consult the best San Jose divorce attorney.

One might think that why would a couple want a legal separation if they think the marriage is over and they want to live apart. In a legal separation, the couple wants to keeps its options open. In this matter, they keep the doors open to thoughts of reconciliation.

It is possible that after the separation the couple realizes that they just needed some time away from each other and they have resolved their differences properly. If they think that after sometime also, they are happier without each other, the option of an official divorce can also be taken. Some reasons why people go for legal separation and not a divorce are religious beliefs, tax and many other. Talk to a good San Jose family lawyer for best advice.

Avail the Legal Services of Professional Lawyers that Make Divorce Proceedings Easy and Convenient for You

It is quite clear that a divorce process is both time and money consuming due to too much legal formalities and proceedings. It adds more stress and tension to the separating couples and makes them feel disturbed and irritated. Divorce petition, divorce nisi and decree absolute are three major steps that are taken during the course of divorce proceedings. A divorce procedure starts with the filing of a divorce petition in the court and ends with the completion of a legal divorce between married couples. Due to the fulfillment of different legal forms, legal proceedings take a lot of time and keep married couples waiting. In such dire and unpleasant conditions, they need legal services of professional lawyers or law firms that provide easy solutions to their divorce needs and wants.

A divorce is filed by any of a married couple if he or she faces different situations like adultery or faithlessness, lack of financial or emotional support or physical and mental abuse from their partner. To give married couple a quick relief and freedom from being waited, professional lawyers prepare a proper planning that contains accurate solutions from the start to the finish of divorce proceedings. When you contact professional lawyers, you not only get a solution of your choice but also find valuable legal advice that helps you face all hearings of the divorce case in an effective manner. With a divorce lawyer of your choice and preference, you can get rid of time consuming process and can get the result of the case in your favour. The legal services that you find from the divorce lawyers in UK are customised and have been perfectly shaped by legal experts to suit your specific needs. These services are user friendly as they make clients feel relaxed and comfortable. The best part of having these services is that these are not too expensive and can be afforded by the married couples that want to crack the nut of their divorce case as soon as possible. These lawyers also solve the issues like finance and the custody of kids in a friendly manner so that separating couple can find it easy and convenient to them.

Ending a Marriage or Taking a Break: Divorce, Annulment or Legal Separation

Ending a marriage is not always easy and sometimes it leaves behind a bitter experience. It can be devastating and stressful for some having a long term impact on their future and outlook towards life. However, if you have decided to come out of a difficult relationship, stay firm and stay strong throughout the legal process. One can opt to have one of the top divorce lawyers who will be able to guide you well. Better still, one can go for his/her family lawyer who will be in a better position to understand your situation and state of mind and provide you with able and unbiased support and guidance. The following are the ways you can help yourself get a divorce.

A marital union can be dissolved through either divorce or annulment of marriage.

Annulment is a legal procedure that pronounces the marriage cancelled as though it never existed. Legally, it declares that the marriage was never valid. Every state has its own set rules regarding annulment of a marriage; however, annulment of marriage can be initiated by either the husband or wife. The party initiating the process has to prove to the court the grounds on the basis of which he/she is seeking annulment of the marriage. So, have one of the great divorce lawyers by your side as you need to prepare your case well and prove the allegations that you make failing which the marriage would be considered null and void.

The following are the few common grounds one can seek annulment of marriage on:

Underage Marriage: If either of the partners was below the marriageable age at the time of getting married

Fraud: If a person was brought into the marriage by having he /she believe the lies or misrepresentation of the other

Forced Consent: If against your wish you were forced into the marriage through threatening or coercion by the other person, it provides you with solid ground to file for annulment of your marriage. However, have the necessary evidence to support your claim.

Mental Illness: If either of the spouses was mentally unstable or ill at the time of marriage

Bigamy: If you come to know that the other person was already married at the time of your marriage but he/she concealed the fact from you

Inability to Consummate the Marriage: If either of the spouses is unable to perform sexually or is impotent and doesn’t satisfy his/her partner

Divorce, on the other hand is the ending of a valid marital union between a man and a woman and returns them the status of being single and ability to start life afresh by getting married once again with somebody else. A divorce can be reached by filing a case in the court seeking divorce.

Usually, in case of divorce there are a number of things that need to be sorted out between you and your partner like marital assets, childcare including custody and visitation rights, child and spousal support issues, housing, money and other properties.

A person can go for either Fault Divorce or No Fault Divorce depending on his/her situation. Fault Divorce is when a party makes certain allegations against the other and seeks divorce on the states ground. He/she however, need to have enough and solid evidence to prove the case in the court. The common grounds for seeking a fault divorce include drugs or alcohol abuse, incurable mental sickness, conviction of crime etc. Other major grounds can be as given below:

Adultery: If the other partner has had extra marital relationship during the course of marriage
Physical or emotional abuse: Subjecting your partner to physical or emotional torture or using abusive language, physical violence and threats makes for a strong case of fault divorce to be filed against you.

Desertion: In case of a spouse abandoning the other emotionally or physically for a long period of time
Remember the above mentioned grounds have to be supported by enough evidence. So, if you are going for fault divorce hire a top divorce attorney who will be able to fight your case and make sure justice is done to you.

On the other hand, a No fault Divorce allows dissolution of marriage without either party making allegations or accusing the other for the breakup of marriage.

Many states allow for No Fault Divorce and many couple too likes to go for it without the pain and mental distress associated with fault divorce.

Nobody ever thinks of going separate way when they got married but circumstances force them to take a tough decision like getting a divorce. However, the least one can do is have an amicable divorce and settle the matter for good. However, it’s wise to get yourself backed by one of the best divorce lawyers in the town.

Legal Separation or Divorce

There are three ways to end a marriage.

1. Nullity or Annulment
2. Legal Separation, or
3. Divorce

A. Nullity takes the position the marriage never took place. There are certain conditions which a party may use to end the marriage.

Among them are:

Incestuous marriage (marrying a relative)
Bigamous marriage (one party already married to another)
Age at time of marriage (less than 16)
Unsound mind (mental illness or disease)
Fraud in the inducement (Promise made before marriage which was not kept as soon as marriage occurred. Like promising to have children or practice a certain religion.)
Force (kidnapping a spouse and taking away the ability to enter into marriage contract voluntarily) Physical incapacity ( medical condition which does not allow one party to enter into a marriage. For example coma or no known way to communicate.


Simply moving out of the house is NOT a Separation. You are still married. At most you can call it being “estranged.” This means that until a Petition for a judgment of Legal Separation is filed in the Superior Court the judge has now jurisdiction (power) to make any orders for things like child custody; child support; spousal support; payment of bills or any of the issues which exist in your marriage.

The biggest difference between a Legal Separation and a Divorce is the effect once the Judgment is issued. In a Legal Separation the marriage is truly not terminated. One party can remain on the health insurance of the other. The parties can continue to file joint tax returns. Neither party is free to remarry. The court will not grant a request for a name change.

Simply stated a Separation is akin to a Divorce for Catholics.

If after a period of time one spouse wants to end the status of Legal Separation into a full divorce a whole new case needs to be filed in court. There will be a six month waiting period before the divorce judgment will be effective. However, any Marital Settlement Agreement entered into by the parties in the Legal Separation will be used in the divorce process as well.


A divorce ends any legal connection between spouses. Neither can claim any interest in property accumulated after the judgment becomes final. Either party is free to remarry. They can no longer be covered on the health insurance of the other or file joint tax returns.

The Marital Settlement Agreement in a divorce is similar to the one created in a Legal Separation. It covers all of the issues which need to be resolved for each specific case. So long as there is no fraud or lying about assets or debts accumulated during the marriage the judgment will be valid and enforceable.

So long as each party can get affordable health insurance on their own there are few reasons to put off a full divorce.

For more information or help visit http://www.afairway.com

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10 Common Legal Mistakes In Divorce

Facing a divorce causes even the most rational person to lose perspective. While it is completely normal to lose sight of the forest for the trees during such a stressful time, it is also unfortunately normal to make bad decisions in the heat of the moment.

Read on about some of the most common mistakes during divorce, and learn how to avoid these potentially devastating blunders. The best way to prepare yourself for a successful and happy future is to understand the pitfalls before you head down the divorce path.

Hiring The Wrong Divorce Attorney

Just like no two divorces are the same, neither are divorce attorneys. Some lawyers are sharks, ready to attack every aspect of the case. Others are mild-mannered and prefer to avoid conflict altogether. Before you settle for one or the other – or something in between – carefully consider the nuances of your situation. The relationship you have with your ex, the type of divorce process you want to use (mediation, collaborative divorce, traditional), and your own personality will all influence the type of attorney who will be most successful for you. Now is not the time to blindly go with a “friend of a friend” recommendation just because it is the easiest solution.

Using The Wrong Divorce Process

These days, not every divorce has to play out like you see it on tv – lawyers and clients facing off in the courtroom, going for the jugular. In fact, many more divorces are resolved with alternative divorce processes. Depending on the type of relationship you have with your soon-to-be ex, a less-adversarial approach may work better for your situation.

Coming Out Of The Gates With Guns Blazing

No matter how angry you may be with your spouse over the idea of divorce, starting off the process by going for the jugular will only lead to a nuclear World War III scenario for the rest of the divorce process. Spouses usually respond in kind when it comes to divorce tactics. So unless you really want to spend the next year or more of your life paying expensive legal fees and spending sleepless nights worrying about the next attack, it pays to think about kinder, gentler alternatives to begin the process.

Failing To Understand Legal Terms

Often times, parties in a divorce ignore the importance of respecting the nuanced meanings of legal words and phrases. For most individuals, a divorce is the first time they’ve been exposed to a courtroom or have been party to legal proceedings at all. These people sometimes base their understanding of what is happening by what they’ve heard from friends and family or, worse, seen on tv.

One area where this causes special problems is issues affecting the children. Legal custody is the right to make major decisions on behalf of your children. This includes things like education, religion and major medical issues. Residential custody (placement in some jurisdictions) addresses where the child lives the majority of the time. Visitation (or parenting time) specifies the amount of time the non-custodial parent has with the child.

Not Pushing For Full Financial Disclosure

With all the emotional issues that come with divorce, it is easy to understand why some people don’t want to fight about finances. However, failing to understand the full extent of the marital estate – and fight for your fair share – can leave you facing a difficult financial future. While some spouses will disclose everything up front, many times it takes a bit more pushing to get a complete picture of the total marital assets.

Your attorney will use the discovery process to require a reluctant spouse to fully disclose his or her assets. In cases where valuing the assets is difficult – privately held businesses, etc. – a forensic accountant may need to be hired.

Misusing Social Media

There once was a time when people were not so easily able to share every up, down and in between of their lives with millions of strangers at the click of a mouse. No more. Today, the numerous social media platforms make it incredibly easy to over-share every aspect of your life – including the pain of divorce. While it may feel momentarily vindicating to post a status update ranting about your evil ex, don’t do it. Even if you go back and delete it later, you can never erase it from cyberspace. Countless divorce cases have been adversely affected by social media posts made by one spouse or the other. It is time to take a break from all social media when you’re going through a divorce.

Losing Sight Of The Forest For The Trees

It is often said that if you only have a hammer, all you see are nails. This is definitely true in some divorces. When you are angry, all you may want to do is fight about every issue with your soon-to-be ex. But what does this strategy really get you?

Far too many individuals end up paying significant legal fees to fight over things and issues that do not make sense from a financial point-of-view. You’d be surprised how many people, in the heat of the moment, are willing to pay their lawyer $300 an hour to write letters over $20 Tupperware. During the drama of divorce proceedings, it is important to identify the issues that truly matter and focus on making decisions that help you get what you want in those areas. The rest is just extraneous noise.

Misunderstanding The Complexity Of Divorce Proceedings

Don’t be misled by advertisements promising you a divorce in xx days. The old saying “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” applies here. There are those unusual cases where two spouses can agree on everything and reach an amicable agreement themselves in record time, but this is not the norm. This is especially true when there are minor children involved.

The truth is that even under the best of circumstances, your divorce will likely take longer than you expected, will raise issues you didn’t consider and cost more than you expect. It is more like a marathon than a 100-yard dash. Understanding that and adopting strategies to help yourself cope – a support group, therapist, exercise – will help you stay the course without losing your mind.

Signing Documents Without Understanding Them

When you do finally resolve all the issues with your former partner, signing the final divorce agreement may seem like an afterthought. However, before you put your name on the dotted line it is critically important that you thoroughly read – and understand – every single word in the document. Blindly signing and then finding out later the wording was not quite what you thought you had agreed to will only cause problems for you. Take the time to sit down and focus on the paperwork and ask your lawyer to clarify anything, no matter how small the point seems, before you sign off. Otherwise, you may be in for a surprise down the road.

Not Understanding The Tax Implications Of Your Agreement

One other thing to be crystal clear about (before you finalize negotiations) is how your tax situation will be impacted by your agreement. Dividing investments like retirement accounts can have significant tax implications for you, as will who gets to claim the children each year for tax purposes. Failing to understand tax ramifications of your agreement can cause you to end up with less than you expected.

To learn more about how a Divorce Transitional Support Advisor can help you or your client regain financial stability after a divorce, please visit our website at http://www.divorcetransitionalsupportadvisor.com

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An Alternative to Litigated Divorce – MEDIATION!

The field of Family Law has gone through many changes during the last decade. Changes in settlement options, custody arrangements, and spousal support issues have all been debated and altered to varying degrees. But one thing that has not changed is the complexity of litigated divorce proceedings and the public’s interest in pursuing alternatives.

Mediation has had a long and favorable place in resolving labor disputes so it is only natural that mediation has gained widespread acceptance in an equally volatile field-divorce and separation disputes. The emotional toll of divorce is no small concern for couples and their families when facing this very intimidating process.

Conflict and anger can turn even the most reasonable people into intense adversaries. Seeking ways to defuse conflict and minimize trauma for their children, couples are choosing mediation as an alternative to a traditionally litigated divorce.

One major concern that is answered by mediation is to mitigate the disruption and trauma to the family’s children. When the level of conflict rises with parents it has an established “trickle-down effect” which can have a serious impact on vulnerable children. In litigated divorces an adversarial relationship is established from the very beginning of the process and by virtue of very nature of litigation, crisis, conflict, and drama are inevitable. It is true that most parents work hard to shield their children from the drama of their divorce or separation but when the legal system is fueling a fire that can easily engulf a couple, the effort to remain calm and composed can be nearly impossible.

However, one of a mediator’s primary goals is to anticipate, defuse, and resolve conflict. The results of a good mediator’s efforts in this regard can have a positive impact affecting a child’s entire lifetime. Indeed, many adults cite the effects of their parent’s divorce as a source of their own problems and difficulties. Mediators recognize and appreciate the long term effects of divorce on children and are committed to helping parents’ divorce or separate in less traumatic ways.

A good mediator approaches each case with neutral intentions; in contrast, many Family Law lawyers approach their cases with the spirit of competition. When divorcing couples become competitors it means that there will be a winner and a loser. The implications of this are obvious-one party is going to walk away with anger and resentment that can last for years. However, a mediated divorce seeks a win-win scenario where equity is a realistic goal. As with anger and resentment, closure and resolution allows both spouses the opportunity to move on with their lives unhindered by negative aftereffects.

Summing up, more and more couples are choosing mediation because with mediation they have a chance to dissolve their relationship in a civil and appropriate manner. Finding some good out of a bad situation is not just the goal of the mediator, but of the couple and their families. Time and experience have shown that it is realistic and attainable goal.

Brian James is an experienced Divorce and Family Mediator with offices throughout Chicagoland and Southeastern Wisconsin.

His approach to mediation is client driven. By aiding his clients with the resolution of their divorce issues outside of the courtroom, Mr. James helps create a win/win situation for all parties in a divorce.

For more information please visit Brian’s website, http://www.celandassociates.com or give him a call at (312) 524-5829. He makes it a point to personally answer every call that is made to him.

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Divorce Tips: How To Avoid Two Million Dollars In Legal Fees

The divorce rate in the United States has been approximately fifty percent for decades.

So, one out of two marriages end in divorce.

Moreover, with the legalization of gay marriage and civil unions, there are likely to be more divorces, simply because there will be more marriages.

Many years ago, a very wealthy couple came to consult with this author to see if their marriage could be repaired through marriage counseling.

This couple was in trouble. The husband had discovered that the wife was having an ongoing affair with another man. In fact, he had video of her leaving a motel room at three o’clock in the morning on several occasions.

In addition, there was a lot of conflict between the wife and her in laws.

After seeing the couple about six times, they both came to the conclusion that it would be best if they would part company and go their separate ways.

They had three young children and substantial assets including several family businesses, a large house in one of the country’s wealthiest communities and a large number off shore bank accounts.

The husband was very angry with the wife and the wife was quite disenchanted with her husband.

I suggested that they try to settle the matter fairly, diplomatically and in a civilized manner. I reminded them that they could use their funds for their children, for their educations and to set up trust funds and help them start their own businesses if that is what they might want to do as they grew up.

I also suggested that they consider mediation as this would allow them to save money, time emotional energy and legal fees.

I also explained that the law was probably pretty clear as to what each of them would get once they dissolved their relationship.

Unfortunately, each of them hired law firms that appeared to be more interested fighting and in generating fees than in settling the matter in a friendly and efficient manner.

After almost two years of fighting and two million dollars in legal fees, they each wound up with exactly what they would have gotten had they settled their case early on.

Anecdotes like this one are still all too common where divorce law is concerned.

According to the famous and highly respected New York attorney, Barry Slotnick, “The best way to avoid this kind of mess, is to utilize prenuptial agreements prior to entering into a marriage.”

As Mr. Slotnick noted in our recent interview, “A prenuptial agreement is needed when two people have a lot of assets and when one person has more assets and wealth than does another.”

A prenuptial is very much like a preventative approach in medicine.

So, if your economic situation warrants it, consider entering into this kind of agreement prior to getting married.

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and a licensed marriage and family therapist. He has written six books and developed numerous self help programs. Granat has appeared in many major media outlets. Dr. Granat recently founded two websites to help couples with marital issues. Visit http://www.HighNetWorthDivorces.com and http://www.101DivorceTips.com.

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Divorce Vs Legal Separation in Minnesota

The term dissolution of marriage has the same meaning as divorce under Minnesota statute. The meaning of the term legal separation is often confused in many ways, especially involving divorce proceedings. There is a difference between divorce and legal separation and the effects of each can make a difference in other areas of the law.

A Decree of Dissolution of Marriage – a court order granting a divorce-completely terminates the marital relationship of the parties. The court divides property and debt, grants or denies alimony (also called spousal maintenance), determines custody and parenting time for any minor children of the parties, determines child support and resolves all other issues pertaining to the parties. For a divorce, there must be an irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship. Only one party need state that there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship, the other party does not have to agree, and, based on the 1974 and 1978 amendments to Minnesota statutes, there is no “fault” required to obtain a dissolution of marriage. If a party denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court must make an inquiry into all of the facts and circumstances, including the prospects of reconciliation, before determining that the marriage is irretrievably broken and the divorce should be granted.

A legal separation is initiated in a similar way to a divorce proceeding but has different effects. Two people who are married and choose to live apart are not legally separated. A legal separation is a court determination of the rights and responsibilities of the two married individuals arising out of the marital relationship. Most common is that a couple separates to divide income, debt and assets and the court, in granting a separation, issues its decree of legal separation that makes those determinations. The court only has to determine that one of the parties is in need of a separation. However, after the decree is docketed by the court, the couple remains married for all purposes not covered in the court’s decree. This can impact both individuals in different ways. A separation may help or inhibit the ability of one of the individuals to obtain government benefits such as medical assistance. A decree of legal separation cannot grant either party the right to marry-they would have to divorce and obtain a decree of dissolution of marriage. A legal separation proceeding may be converted to a divorce proceeding by either party while the matter is pending. After a decree of legal separation is granted, the parties may later divorce by going through another similar proceeding. A decree of legal separation should cover many of the issues that would typically arise in a divorce proceeding which primarily concern allocation of income and retirement benefits as well as current and future rights and responsibilities in debt and property.

Minnesota has an evolving statutory and case-law scheme governing marriages. The foregoing is a snap-shot of the comparison of Divorce and Separation and is not to be used to define any specific situation and is not to be considered as legal advice. If you or someone you know has a specific situation they wish to discuss and obtain advice on how to handle, please contact the Law Office of Jeddeloh & Snyder, PA for more information!

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