Some parties who do not meet the California residency requirements for filing a divorce often opt to file for Legal Separation. There are no residency requirements when filing for legal separation. So once you meet the California residency requirements, the Petition for Legal Separation can be amended to a Petition for Dissolution. Keep in mind that while you are legally separated, you cannot remarry. If you plan to remarry in the future, a legal separation is not the option and you need to take steps to file for a divorce.
Some other benefits of filing for legal separation may be for religious reason, tax benefits, and/or maintaining military benefits. Another main benefit is maintaining health insurance benefits pending the legal separation. If you file for divorce and a Judgment for Dissolution is entered, your spouse no longer has the right to keep you on his or her medical insurance plan.
Either way, legal separation may be an option for you if you do not wish to file for a divorce. Contact a Santa Ana Divorce Attorney today if you have any further questions.