What is the Date of Separation in a San Diego divorce and why is this such an important date? How is the Date of Separation established? Does the couple have to physically separate in order for the clock to be started?
A recent update to California’s family law code clarified the answer to these questions. Let’s begin with why this date is important. The Date of Separation establishes the point in time where a spouses “earnings and accumulations” are no longer considered to be “community property” under California law. Any money or “accumulations” realized from that point forward is considered to be “separate property” and is not usually subject to division under California’s community property laws.
The date of separation is also important in determining the length of the actual marriage. The length of the marriage is often a factor in issues such as spousal support.
Establishing the Date of Separation in a San Diego divorce used to require at least one of the spouses to have a specific intent to end the marriage and the parties had to be physically residing in separate residences.
California family law now defines the Date of Separation as “a complete and final break in the marital relationship” “as evidenced by both of the following:
(1) The spouse has expressed to the other spouse his or her intent to end the marriage.
(2) The conduct of the spouse is consistent with his or her intent to end the marriage.” The court must take into account “all relevant evidence” in making the determination.
The Date of Separation in a San Diego divorce can be quite important, especially those involving the ownership of a business or substantial investment property or assets.