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Legal Separation Attorney
in Sacramento, California

In California, legal separation is an alternative to divorce that allows couples to formalize their separation – live separate and apart – while remaining legally married. However, a court order for legal separation won't formally end the marriage completely. Regardless, couples still have to deal with all divorce issues and formalities, including child support, child custody, property division, and alimony. 

If you're considering a legal separation and want to understand the process, consulting with an experienced family law attorney is imperative. At Abdallah Law, A.P.C., I'm dedicated to offering personalized family law counsel to clients navigating divorce and legal separation. 

As your attorney, I can work to understand your personal situation, enlighten you about the benefits and drawbacks of legal separation, and determine whether it is right for you. Also, I will guide you through the legal procedures involved and help you achieve a fair separation agreement. 

My firm proudly serves clients across Sacramento, California, and surrounding areas throughout Eldorado County, San Joaquin County, Placer County, Solano County, Yolo County, and Alameda County. 

The Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce

Divorce and legal separation are among the available options for couples to end or dissolve their marital relationship in California. While a divorce ends a marriage legally and completely, legal separation allows the couples to live separately and apart while staying legally married. However, the separated couples are still legally married and may be unable to remarry unless they get a divorce. 

Is Legal Separation an Option for Me? 

Seeking a court order for legal separation may be an ideal option for you when: 

  • Your religion, moral, or social beliefs forbid divorce; 

  • You have minor children and want to provide a stable home or mitigate the implications of divorce on them; 

  • You want to avoid the social shame of being regarded as a divorcee; 

  • You want to preserve your marital union but live separately; 

  • You want to practice separation to help prepare you for divorce; 

  • You want to preserve your partner's health insurance, inheritance, and other marital benefits; or, 

  • You're unable to meet the divorce residency requirements in your state. 

If you're considering a legal separation, you need to reach out to a legal separation lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can enlighten you about the process and help you navigate crucial decisions with confidence. 

Find Your Best Path Forward


An Overview of the Legal Separation Process

Wondering how the legal separation process works? Here are the steps you can expect to take when pursuing a separation in California: 

File a Petition

File a petition requesting a court order for legal separation. The petition will explain your marital relationship and describe the actions you want the family court to take. Thankfully, there are no residency requirements for getting a legal separation in California. Also, couples may be able to seek legal separation based on certain grounds, including legal incapacity and irreconcilable differences. 

Serve Your Spouse Papers

Serve your spouse with a copy of the legal separation form. You can serve them through another adult, a process server, or the local sheriff. Also, your spouse must file a response within 30 days. 

Make Decisions on Custody, Support, and More

Similar to divorce, the separated couples must make decisions on child custody/support, spousal support, asset division, marital debts, and other issues. All separation terms and provisions that are agreed upon must be documented in the separation agreement. However, if you're unable to agree on certain matters, the California courts can intervene and help you decide. 

Finalize the Separation

If you're able to resolve all issues, you can submit the separation agreement to the court for official approval. Conversely, if there are some contested matters, both parties may need to appear before a judge. Once all matters have been resolved, the judge will issue a final judgment or court order of legal separation. 

A dedicated legal separation attorney can help protect your rights and work diligently with all parties involved to achieve a fair separation agreement. 

What Is a Separation Agreement?

A separation agreement can be described as a legally binding contract or agreement that provides detailed information about the terms and provisions of the legal separation. The separation agreement must address crucial issues, such as: 

  • Property division 

  • Repaying marital debts 

  • Alimony or spousal support 

  • Child custody and visitation 

  • Child support 

Both spouses must sign the separation agreement. Unless modified or terminated by the court, the provisions of the separation agreement will remain legally binding on both parties. Hence, it is advisable that both spouses work together with their attorneys to develop a fair separation agreement that is in their family's best interest. 

How Legal Counsel Can Help

Similar to divorce, filing for legal separation in California usually involves a lot of complex procedures and legal paperwork. Filing a petition, making decisions, and negotiating separation agreements with your estranged partner can make the entire process quite challenging. Therefore, when pursuing a legal separation, working with a dedicated family law attorney is essential. 

At The Abdallah Law, A.P.C., I'm dedicated to guiding individuals and families through the complicated procedures involved in legal separation. As your attorney, I can evaluate your personal situation, determine whether legal separation is right for you, and help file your petition. Also, I will work diligently with you and your spouse to negotiate a reasonable separation agreement and settle relationship differences peacefully and quickly. 

Legal Separation Attorney in Sacramento, California

If you're considering a legal separation and want to know how it works, contact me at The Abdallah Law, A.P.C. to schedule a simple consultation. I can offer you the knowledgeable and trusted legal counsel you need in your legal separation matters. My firm proudly serves clients across Sacramento, Eldorado County, San Joaquin County, Placer County, Solano County, Yolo County, and Alameda County, California.