Legal Separation

Your Legal Separation Attorneys

When considering whether to part ways, you’ll find that there are many roads for you and your partner to take. If getting divorced seems like too great of a leap right now, or if there are legal reasons why you must remain married, legal separation is sometimes a gentler alternative. Legal separation is similar to divorce in that the couple usually lives apart. Separation generally confronts the same issues as a dissolution of marriage, including property division, custody agreements, and child support. However, legal marital status is not terminated and the parties remain married in the eyes of the court.

Our Approach to Legal Separation

At Gilligan, Frisco & Trutanich, we believe in doing whatever it takes to ensure that the uncoupling process is as conflict-free as possible. In some cases, that means legal separation. When a couple agrees to legally separate, they may do so in order to determine if there is a chance of reconciliation or if they will separate permanently. There are a number of reasons why one may choose legal separation over dissolution of marriage. These include religious differences, adultery, incompatibility, external factors, or other personal issues. For some, legal separation is a better alternative to divorce as the parties can retain medical insurance eligibility that would otherwise be eliminated following a divorce. They can also receive federal government benefits as well be eligible for the better tax benefits that accompany marriage. A legal separation does not terminate the marital status of the spouses, and therefore neither can remarry. However, it frees them from the rights and responsibilities of having to live together in a shared residence. After a judgment of legal separation is entered, the parties remain married in name alone. If you think legal separation may be the right choice for you, contact us today.

How Legal Separation Works

Legal separation comes in many forms. First there is a trial separation, which is a tentative parting of ways in which couples live apart in order to decide whether permanent divorce or separation is right for them. If you decide on a trial separation, you can can do so for any length of time and no court involvement is necessary. If you and your spouse decide to live apart, you are separated. A informal separation becomes a legal one when a court officially declares that you’re separated, which happens after you consult with us and we file a separation agreement. The agreement will dictate custody, child support, spousal support, and property division. Legal separations can be helpful while you and your spouse attempt to work through problems that are negatively impacting their relationship. Contact us if you have questions regarding legal separation.

Is Legal Separation Right For You?

There are some occasions when separation is preferred over divorce. The most fundamental difference between separation and divorce is that partners remain legally married during a separation, whereas divorce ensures that they are no longer unified in the eyes of the law. Separation can be beneficial over divorce because it allows spouses to retain health care and other benefits. Unfortunately, legal separation does not give them the freedom to remarry that divorce does. With a legal separation, spouses are still considered next of kin and can still make crucial decisions in medical or financial situations. During the legal separation process, one spouse may still be held accountable for the debt of their partner, whereas when a couple legally divorces, their debts are are handled in the process. Legal separation also allows the door to stay open for reconciliation. If spouses chose to divorce, they would have to remarry in order to legally be reunited.

Our Family Law & Divorce Attorneys

When you’re going through a tough time, you need a full team on your side. Our five-attorney firm has all of the resources to attend to our clients' needs.

100+ Years Collective Experience

Our Family Law Firm's History

Gilligan, Frisco & Trutanich, LLP, was co-founded by John J. Gilligan, who has been practicing family law in Long Beach since 1981. Janine M. Frisco is also a partner, as is Kristin Trutanich. Together, they are the area’s most comprehensive legal stronghold.

GFT has helped individuals and their families surmount their legal difficulties for the past several decades. We are proud to serve Southern California, and have the dedication and experience required to handle every type of issue.

The Team of Attorneys You’ve Been Looking For

Our experienced team of professionals will guide you through life’s murkiest waters. At Gilligan, Frisco & Trutanich, LLP, we have the resources needed to represent clients in all aspects of family and criminal law.

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We have two offices conveniently located in Long Beach & Palos Verdes. We represent clients in courts throughout Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties.