What is the Date of Separation in a North County or Carlsbad Divorce and Why is it Important?

Pierre Domercq Divorce

What is the “date of separation” in a North County and Carlsbad divorce and why is this date so important? The date of separation can be quite important as it will affect the date your income and assets become “separate property” from the community property, as well as distribution of the community property and a potential impact on issues of spousal support.
The date of separation marks a point in time after which any property obtained or earned by the former spouse becomes “separate property” of that spouse, outside of community property interests.
The date of separation is also the difference between a “short term marriage” and a “long term marriage” under California law. Spousal support in a long term marriage usually continues indefinitely until the former spouse remarries or passes away. Spousal support from a short term marriage usually terminates after a period of time roughly equal to half of the term of the marriage itself.
At this moment in time, you do not have to physically live in separate dwellings to have an established date of separation. The cost of separate dwellings means many parties going through a divorce still continue to reside in the same residence. If no one moves out can you have a date of separation? What constitutes the date of separation?
After a major upheaval with a California Supreme Court decision last year, many family law attorneys, judges and the California legislature worked to produce new laws that answered this question once and for all. Governor Brown has signed SB-1255 “dissolution of marriage – date of separation.” SB-1255 will officially become the law on January 1, 2017.
“SECTION 1. Section 70 is added to the Family Code, to read:
70. (a) “Date of separation” means the date that a complete and final break in the marital relationship has occurred, 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.
(b) In determining the date of separation, the court shall take into consideration all relevant evidence.
What does this mean? You don’t have to physically live apart. However, you must carefully document clear communication to your former spouse that you intend to end the marriage. You must then take consistent actions as if you are either a separate entity or that you intend to be divorced.