Aissa (W) and H were married on February 14, 1986. In June 1987, W filed a petition for legal separation and a separate petition for dissolution of marriage. On January 29, 1988, H moved to bifurcate the issue of marital status from the issues of custody, support, and property division. The declaration stated the marriage had irrevocably failed, reconciliation was not possible and although the trial of the dissolution would be brief. Any remaining issues would require discovery and a more lengthy trial. H stated that he would be able to get on with his life and business once the marital status was resolved. H could make investments and obtain credit without having to seek quitclaim deeds or worry that a lender might rely on community rather than separate credit. W raised procedural objections but no substantive reasons why bifurcation would be against her interests. The court denied the motion. H appealed.