If you are ready to end your marriage legally, the first step is to research the divorce laws in your state. You can then determine what you need to do to get your divorce legal in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible.
Whether separation is grounds for divorce and the length of the separation depends on where you live. Just being separated for X years will never mean you are divorced. You will still need to request it, so it is not “automatic” in that sense. It may just mean that the divorce process is going normally.
What does it mean to be separated (in the legal sense of the term)?
This is when a couple no longer lives together but respects a Voluntary Written Agreement. And separation does not end the marriage.
What is the voluntary written contract?
It is carried out between the two parties and it defines the duties and obligations of each, while living separately. Most often, it allows for the management of issues related to profits and / or debts, to supervise the custody or visits of children and to define an amount for alimony (children and / and spouses).
The separation and legal separation, what difference? Is Separating the same as divorce?
Separation may be the premise of divorce. But the spouses remain married. If either party files for a divorce, it will take 6 months for the separation to be converted into a divorce.
Separation is not just about not living together and leaving home. To obtain a legal separation, it is imperative to achieve a voluntary written separation agreement.
If the couple’s separation dates back several months, or even years, the court will more easily pronounce the legal separation. In some states, this agreement is accepted by the judge directly and the legal separation then becomes legal.
In others, it will be mandatory that one or the other of the parties apply to the court for a separation order.
The separation is not stopped in time. Its duration is infinite, but to use the separation agreement as the basis for the divorce, it will take at least 1 year. This is then a conversion divorce.
The advantages of a formal separation are twofold:
- It protects each of the spouses against any additional debts that the other spouse may have acquired.
- Marital property is distributed on the date of separation
Separation is not the same as divorce because you remain legally married.
So legal or formal separation has the same consequences as a divorce petition, the main topics are discussed and dealt with (custody of children, home, alimony, etc.) but the marriage has not broken down at this stage.
How long does it take to be separated for a divorce to be granted?
The time varies from one situation to another and from one state to another.
However, if the request for divorce is made for a cause of separation and IF both parties agree; then it will be necessary to be separated for 2 years for the divorce to be accepted.
In the event of disagreement between the parties, it will be necessary to prove that the separation is at least 5 years old before the divorce process can begin.
And finally, if your spouse has deserted, but this is very rare, it will take, as with the first option, a separation of at least 2 years, for the process to take place.
How many years do you have to be separated to be legally divorced?
Marriage is never automatically canceled. It is mandatory to make a request regardless of the number of years of separation.
Know that if one of the two spouses does not agree with the process, the procedure will never continue and you will remain married !!!
In general, it takes between 5 to 7 months from the start of the procedure to hope for a divorce. But this duration is nevertheless approximate because it also depends on the local county on which you depend as well as the files being treated by the court of your state.
How many years do you have to be separated to be legally divorced in california?
Many states have “no-fault” divorce options. In these states, there may be options to get a divorce without claiming adultery or abuse, but the law requires you to live “apart and apart” for a period of time before the court grants your divorce.
Some states require a 2-year legal separation period before filing, while other states require an even longer period. In some states with a waiting period, you can file for a divorce as soon as you want, but the court will ask you to go through the waiting period separately before you can grant a divorce.
In California, no separation period is required before you can get a divorce.
This means that you and your spouse are able to decide that you want a divorce and, on the same day, file for a divorce. You and your spouse don’t have to live apart before you file your return – and even after your return, you can still legally continue to live together.
Although California does not have a required separation period or an interim separation period, it does have a waiting period for a divorce. Although you still have to wait 6 months before your divorce is final. No matter how quickly you move or how prepared you are to file for divorce, California has a 6-month waiting period before making your decision to divorce and finalizing your divorce case.
During a legal separation, you and your spouse will still be officially married. This means that you cannot remarry and you may be required to share health care benefits with your spouse and to report your taxes under the status of “married” (for example, “separated marriage”). However, since you are filing for legal separation, you can separate other assets, debts, real estate, and other property that you own. You can also split child custody and determine child support and spousal support at the start of the 6-month waiting period rather than at the end.
How long do I have to be separated before I can divorce UK?
No matter how many years you have been separated from your ex-husband or ex-wife, there is no automatic divorce in England or Wales.
First, to get a divorce in the UK, you and your spouse must have been married for at least a year.
You will also need to file for divorce on one of the appropriate grounds:
- two-year separation,
- separation of five years with consent,
- unreasonable behavior,
and you will need to determine which of these grounds is appropriate, if any, before you file for divorce.
Finally, if you meet the relevant criteria, you must take stock of your situation and decide whether you are sure you want to divorce your spouse. The last thing anyone wants to do is start the process only to change their mind halfway.
So whether you have been separated for 5 years, 10 years or more will not change the process and you will not be able to divorce automatically.
Under UK Divorce Law, your spouse must be able to view and comment on divorce documents. And to accept them or not.
Therefore, if you have been separated for a long time, you must file for divorce on the basis of 5 years of separation. If you no longer have contact with your ex, it can be difficult because the court will require an address for the other party.
If you therefore do not have the address of your future ex-spouse, you must prove to the court:
• That you don’t know where your spouse resides.
• All the steps you have taken to locate him, for example by contacting relatives and friends, by searching the electoral list or by asking his employer….
The task is not simple, it can be long and expensive if you need to call in outside professionals to help you with the process.
Get as close as possible to your lawyer, who will be able to give you the best possible advice.
You can also see our article Everything about the Dissolution of Marriage