Author Archives: Leslee Newman

Leslee Newman has worked in divorce peacemaking and out-of-court divorce for more than 30 years bringing peace and healing to families undergoing divorce and separation.

How Does a Legal Separation Differ from a Dissolution of Marriage?

If you are unhappy in your marriage what can you do about it? You could seek a divorce, a legal separation, or a nullity. The process of filing a case with the court is almost identical, but the procedure and the ramifications of filing a legal separation or a nullity instead of a divorce are different.

In California since 1970, we have a “no-fault” system in which there are only two grounds for divorce—“irreconcilable differences” and “incurable insanity.” Irreconcilable differences can encompass a wide variety of reasons, but often means that the spouse applying for the divorce is in a new or better relationship, is being harassed or abused by the other spouse, or wants a different life in another state or country but their spouse does not want to move away. Any of these reasons can create a breakdown of the marital relationship, with required testimony to the court by the petitioning spouse, that the couple can no longer live together.

Why file for a legal separation instead of a divorce? The court forms and the court process of filing for either a divorce or a legal separation are almost identical. In every legal separation or divorce process there … Read More “How Does a Legal Separation Differ from a Dissolution of Marriage?”

What Women Should Know About Divorce

woman digesting lots of information

If asking for spousal or child support, you will always receive more money if you are already employed or have a source of income, your husband is earning more than you, and you can show a need for his financial assistance through a request for child and/or spousal support. Thus, it is detrimental to purposefully limit your stream of income, quit your job if not necessary, or downplay your ability to earn because you think you will receive more from your husband.

If you are in a domestic violence situation, and periodically experiencing threats, intimidation, and even physical assault, you should separate from your husband as soon as you are able to do so. You must educate yourself about the domestic violence cycle and know that each incident could become worse physically and psychologically than the last one you experienced. Without assistance, education, and separation, each incident could become more harmful, not only to you, but also to any children living with you. There are domestic violence assistance centers at courthouses in California where family law cases are processed and heard.

Unless you need the protection of domestic violence restraining orders, try not to speak badly about the children’s father. … Read More “What Women Should Know About Divorce”