Should I File for Divorce or Get a Legal Separation?


If you're looking for divorce advice in Pasadena, you might find yourself wondering if it's better to get a divorce or to simply separate from your spouse.

A divorce is the best option if you are absolutely certain that you are not interested in reconciling with your spouse or if one of you is already involved in a serious relationship with someone else. All divorces in California are "no-fault" divorces. It does not matter what your specific reason is for wanting to end your marriage. All issues, including the division of marital assets, are decided in the same matter regardless of whether your spouse had an affair or if the two of you just decided you couldn't get along anymore.

A separation allows room for reconciliation. Couples undergoing a "rough spot" in their marriage might decide that a trial separation could give them the space they need to decide what to do next. A trial separation is different from a legal separation, however. A legal separation involves going to court to outline child support, child custody, visitation, and division of marital property. Legal separations are most often used when the couple has specific religious or financial reasons for wanting to stay legally married. For example, couples sometimes file for a legal separation if they are not interested in maintaining a relationship but one spouse needs to be able to remain on the other's health insurance because of a serious medical problem. You can file a motion to dismiss the legal separation if you and your spouse decide to get back together at a later date.

How Can We Help?

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, want to know more about a legal separation, or if you know of someone who can use our help, please contact our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at We are one of the leading Pasadena matrimonial law firms and have extensive experience relating to all aspects of divorce and legal separation agreements.