Believe it or not, couples undergoing divorce sometimes disagree over their date of separation.
Now, you may be asking 1) how can people not know the date they were separated, and 2) why does the date of separation even matter?
The answer to the first question is that a date of separation is not an objective fact but rather a subjective point in time. The date marks the point when either of the parties does not intend to resume the marriage and his or her actions exhibit the end of the marriage. Sometimes, couples talk about a divorce before proceeding to court and mutually decide on a date of separation.
However, other times only one party in the marriage decides the relationship is over and acts accordingly on his or ehr own. The court must decide whether the status of the relationship at a certain point in time was perceived by both parties to be irreparable.
The answer to the second question is that the date of separation marks the moment in time when the idea of "community property" ends. Since California is a community property state, this means any income earned after the date of separation is separate property. So, if one party happens to win the lottery even one day after the date of separation, the lottery money is legally the possession only of the party that won it. Thus, a difference of even a few days may make a large difference in terms of division of property.
For further information regarding separation and divorce please contact the Orange County Family Attorneys for Irvine at 714-971-8000. Call today for your free 60-minute consultation!