Date of Separation

What is a date of separation?

California Family Code Section 70 defines the date of separation as “the date that a complete and final break in the marital relationship has occurred.”

Why is it important?

The date of separation is an important date in a divorce because it represents the end of the community. Some of the things this date is used for are for division of community property and accumulation of separation property.

This issue of separation date and how to determine it has become very important as many people struggle to meet their living expenses. This is especially common in very high cost of living areas. Some couples are unable to afford to move into separate households and so will remain in the same home even during the divorce process.

How do you know or show what that date is?

The code section requires two things to show the date of separation:

  1. One spouse told the other his or her intent to end the marriage AND
  2. The conduct of that spouse is consistent with the intent to end the marriage.

When determining the date of separation, the court must take into account all relevant evidence.

What sort of evidence will the court consider?

California Family Code Section 70 went into effect on January 1, 2017 so we do not have a lot of case law yet to tell us what will count as “telling of intent to end the marriage” and “conduct consistent with that intent.” As time goes on more cases will go through the courts, which will give us better guidelines. In the past one of the main things that was considered by the court as proof of separation was the date one party moved out of a shared residence. It is likely that one party moving out will still be good and important evidence to support a date of separation.

Have questions about your date of separation? Contact Romanovska Law to learn more.

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