"Channe really has your back. Dealing with lawyers and child custody is hard enough, stressful beyond; but Channe and staff really stood strong for me and I got the results I wanted. She totally understood my situation after only one meeting, and was there every step of the way. She also tried to help me keep my cost down. I could not be Happier :-)"
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Santa Barbara Legal Separation Attorney

A divorce, or "dissolution" in California, is not the only means to end a marriage. A legal separation allows a couple to divide and separate key components of their life without necessarily ending their marriage. A Separation Agreement can also become the contract that provides a contractual roadmap for division of assets, custody rights, spousal support and or child support.

At the Law Office of Channe G. Coles, we offer our family law clients in Santa Barbara County, personal, professional, and competent legal counsel for assistance with all aspects of legal separation. We have the experience and know-how to skillfully and thoughtfully accomplish the separation of a marriage, including the division of assets, business holdings and other property, even if your marriage itself is not ending.

Advantage & Disadvantages of a Legal Separation

Santa Barbara Legal Separation Attorney

There are myriad reasons why couples seek a legal separation. Three most common reasons include religious opposition to divorce, maintenance of work related health insurance coverage for the non-employee spouse, or simply wanting to keep the tax benefits of marriage.

While a legal separation is an alternative to divorce, it is nonetheless an adversarial proceeding involving the court, and brings with it all the complexities of a divorce. Given these complexities, it is still important to obtain the assistance of counsel to ensure that your concerns are adequately addressed and your legal rights protected as you progress through the legal separation process. At the Law Office of Channe G. Coles, we strive to consider the particular needs of each client's matter and to obtain a fair and equitable outcome for our clients, be it through litigation or negotiation and settlement.

It should be noted that when a legal separation devolves into an adversarial process, it often ends in dissolution of the marriage. During any consultation where a client indicates an intent to legally separate, attorney Coles focuses much attention on the relationship of the separating party (is it amicable or strained), and whether the desire for a separation, but sustained marital relationship, is mutual.

It is important to note, that when a final judgment of legal separation is entered by the court, parties no longer have the obligation to comply with marital rights and duties; in essence, you remain married but all else becomes separate. The community property is divided and there is no accumulation of future community property or joint debt. Unless otherwise agreed to by the parties or ordered by the court, there is no obligation for spousal support. Legally separated spouses retainer certain benefits of marriage because the parties technically remain married in the eyes of the law. 

Unlike dissolution of a marriage, there is no residency requirement to file for legal separation and a waiting period is not a precursor for obtaining a final judgment. One way of getting around the residency or jurisdictional requirements, is to first file for legal separation and, upon satisfying residency requirements, a couple wanting to divorce can then modify the petition into an action for dissolution.

Should you decide to dissolve your marriage at a future time, be it before or after you have obtained a final judgment, Law Office of Channe G. Coles will provide you with counsel and file the appropriate documents necessary to modify your legal separation.

Discuss Your Legal Separation In A Confidential Consultation

We serve the Santa Barbara area, both north and south county. To speak with attorney Channe G. Coles about the separation process and your unique circumstances, please contact us online at www.ccsblaw.com, or call us at (805) 617-4618.

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