Your Advocate For A New Life

Julia M. Garwood • Certified Family Law Specialist

Legal Separation San Diego


A legal separation may be the first step a couple takes toward finding a permanent solution to their marriage troubles. That solution may be divorce or it may be reconciliation. But don’t think that you are legally separated if your spouse moves out of your home. That is definitely not the same thing.

To be legally separated, you must petition the court for a legal document, but you should meet with one of our Attorneys to help you decide your date of separation. Besides recognition from the court of your status, you may also request the judge’s orders on such matters as child custody, visitation, child and/or spousal support, property division, domestic abuse, temporary use and possession of the home and vehicles, and restraining orders. Also, with a legal separation, there can be assurance of both parties having access to such financial benefits as medical insurance, pensions, and tax benefits while not being held responsible for any debt acquired by the estranged partner after the date of separation. The starting date of this legal document may be backdated to the day the couple parted ways, or the date the order is filed, not necessarily the day the order was granted.

If the situation does lead to a desire to divorce, a San Diego legal separation attorney is capable of helping you file an amended petition or if required, a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage for that proceeding. Although you are not obliged to meet California residency requirements for a legal separation, they are necessary for getting a divorce. A major difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that with the former, the couple is not free to remarry.

If you and your spouse have come to the conclusion that it is time for a legal separation, it is also time to speak to an experienced San Diego family attorney. Garwood Family Law and Mediation has been assisting couples and families through stressful times for over 30 years. You can trust that our legal team of attorneys, paralegals and assistants will focus on your needs and treat you and your family with the respect that you deserve. Contact us today at (619) 627-0274 for a free consultation with our one of our San Diego family lawyers.


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1450 Frazee Road, Suite 501, San Diego, CA 92108