What constitutes the date of separation in a San Diego divorce and why is this such an important date in the process of your divorce in Carlsbad or North County?
The “Date of Separation” used to be the date the couple physically separated households prior to a divorce. California law on the subject was recently changed to reflect the difficult economic realities for those wishing to divorce.
The Date of Separation has been defined be the legislature as the date “a complete and final break in the marital relationship has occurred.” This must be supported by two specific things:
1. Notification – one spouse has expressed their specific intent to end the marriage to the other spouse. It is best if this is accomplished in writing but is not required to be, and
2. The behavior of that spouse after notification is consistent with the intent to bring the marriage to an end.
While these are the legal factors of what constitutes the Date of Separation in a San Diego divorce why is it important? All money earned and property acquired during the course of the divorce is considered to be “community property” and it must be divided equally. The Date of Separation is the day the “community” ends in terms of property and financial accounts.
After the Date of Separation, each former spouse may open “separate” bank accounts. Business interests or property acquired with “separate funds and assets” can remain “separate property,” outside of the divorce.
The date which constitutes the Date of Separation in a San Diego divorce can be very important in spousal support matters. Spousal support is usually based upon the duration of the marriage, and if the marriage is longer than 10 years the amount and duration of spousal support may be higher. The duration of your marriage is the time from the date of your actual wedding to the Date of Separation. If you are approaching this important landmark it may be important to either take earlier action or delay the Date of Separation depending upon your unique perspective.