An Overview of How Date of Separation Works in CA

Pleasanton CA divorce attorneyWhen you’re looking to get divorced in CA, the court assigns a “date of separation,” which is a formal date where your or your partner’s intent to end the marriage is established. To put it simply, this is the “break up” date for all legal intents and purposes.

It’s important to take note of this date because it carries significant implications. Specifically, the date of separation matters when it comes to division of property and spousal support. 

For today’s post, we’re looking at how the date of separation is assessed or calculated. We’ll also talk about how this date impacts the rest of your proceedings. 

How is the Date of Separation Determined?

The date of separation is actually something that is often contested in court, and thus there are established ways to help settle these disputes. Two tests are used to calculate the date: an objective test and a subjective test. 

The objective test involves looking at the date when a couple is no longer living together. They will look for evidence of “unambiguous objective conduct” that shows intent to discontinue the marriage. 

Not everyone moves away immediately as soon as the marriage is over, however, and many couples practice physical separation if living under the same roof. This is where the subjective test comes into play, which is where the court looks at both parties’ behaviors to assess when the relationship “ended.”

Date of Separation and Division of Property

As a community property state, California considers all marital assets as equally shared. However, anything that is gained or accrued after the date of separation is no longer considered community property. This is why the date of separation can sometimes be so hotly contested, especially when a large number of assets are involved.

Date of Separation and Spousal Support

Spousal support is determined by the length of the marriage, which makes the date of separation a vital point of reference when the courts are assessing each party’s responsibilities and entitlements. The date of separation can impact not only the amount of spousal support, but the duration of these benefits as well.

We hope this overview gave you some insight into how the date of separation comes into play when it comes to California divorces. As always, remember that the skilled family law attorneys at the Law Offices of James P. White are just a quick phone call away.

Give us a call at 925-271-0999 today to schedule a free initial consultation.