New Law Regarding the Date of Separation

Pierre Domercq Divorce

Why is the date of separation important in a North County divorce? What has the new law changed with respect to separating as part of the divorce process here in North County?
In late July of this year Governor Brown signed SB1255 which clarifies the realities of separating during a divorce. Prior to that date, California law in essence required the parties to physically move apart from one another. The law literally said “living separate and apart”-a phrase which California Courts and Judges interpreted to mean “living apart from one another in separate residences.”
The financial challenges associated with divorce are already burdensome enough for many couples. The added expense of separating into two households was burdensome to many divorcing spouses. The new law completely removes the language in question that has caused such bitter debate over the years. The new law refers to the phrase “after the date of separation” to establish when a spouse’s earnings, investments and income transition from “community property” to “separate property.”
It is important for the date of separation to legally exist, as this is the point where the spouses can begin to accumulate their own financial resources for the future. While the initial ATROs (temporary restraining orders issued with the summons) prohibit both spouses from opening separate accounts or transferring assets, the financial calculations of what is considered community property versus those funds that will be the separate assets of each spouse begin on the new understanding of the date of separation.
The new legislation provides two tests:
1. a spouse has expressed his or her intent to end the marriage to the other spouse, and
2) the conduct of the spouse is consistent with his or her intent to end the marriage.
Our North County Court will review alll “relevant evidence” when establishing the date of separation. One undeniable action is the filing of the divorce itself. There are many other actions you should consider that can help to establish the earliest possible date of separation.
This is why it is important to work with the experienced and proven divorce and family law attorneys at Burke & Domercq. Our clients value our decades of service in North County and Carlsbad divorce cases, as well as our responsiveness and positive approach to working through the divorce process.
We invite you to contact us or call 760-712-3741 to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys.