Why Does the Date of Separation Matter in a North County San Diego Divorce?

Pierre Domercq Divorce

Why does the “date of separation” matter in a North County San Diego divorce? California divorce law uses the date of separation as an important “line” when dividing community property. What date did the couple cease being a community? This is important for two reasons:
1. Couples married longer than 10 years face different property division and support calculations than shorter term marriages
2. Property acquired after the date of separation may be considered “separate property” and would not therefore be divided as a marital or community asset.
Establishing the date of separation was more clearly defined in a recent court case. In essence, the recent ruling establishes that the date of separation isn’t the day the couple agreed to file for a divorce, it is the date they ceased being a “community.” In other words, the day a couple stopped living together.
If you are approaching the 10 year mark in your marriage this may be an important issue to consider and moving may save you a substantial amount of money. This may also be important if an inheritance is in your future, or if you intend to start a business.
There are two “tests” to establish the date of separation. The first is the “objective test” which is simply the date the couple moved apart. It is very challenging economically to support separate households and it is not uncommon for the parties to remain together while the divorce is in process.
The second test is the “subjective test” which looks at the fact patterns surrounding the case. This is much more legally complex, and the court will consider the behavior of the parties, the sharing of financial accounts and other factors to consider when the parties actually began to live “separate” lives.
The experienced divorce attorneys at Burke & Domercq are able to provide specific advice and representation based upon decades of experience and expertise. We invite you to contact us, or call 760-712-3741.