What is the “Date of Separation” in a Carlsbad or North County Divorce?

Pierre Domercq Divorce

What is the “Date of Separation” in a Carlsbad or North County 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?
An update to California’s family law code this year 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 Califronia’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.
In 2015, California’s Supreme Court declared that the definition of “living separate and apart” (the Date of Separation) required 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. This caused quite an uproar in California family law practice resulting in permanent changes in the law which took effect January 1, 2017.
The new law 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 can be quite important in Carlsbad and North County divorce cases, especially those involving the ownership of a business or substantial investment property or assets. We invite you to read the reviews of our clients and the recommendations of the legal industry and contact the experienced family law attorneys at Burke and Domercq or call 760-712-3741 to schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers.