California Divorce Blog–Date of Separation

In 2015, the California Supreme Court made a big splash by changing how the Date of Separation is determined in a divorce. (See Marriage of Davis 2015). The Court ruled that parties who file for divorce yet continue to live with their spouse under the same roof are not separated. While there is an exception to this rule, it is safe to assume that you and your spouse are not separated until you file for divorce and vacate the residence. If both of you continue to reside in the same residence then you may assume you are not separated.

So, why is this a big deal? The Date of Separation can significantly impact your case in terms of Community Property and Spousal Support. California is a Community Property state. Generally speaking, property acquired during the marriage is Community Property and divided 50/50. Once a Date of Separation is established then spouses typically acquire Separate Property. The Davis decision stands for the proposition that even though a spouse has filed for divorce, if the spouses continue to reside in the same residence then they are not separated. This means that all property continues to be Community Property and therefore divided 50/50 (Income, Retirement Plans (IRA, 401K, 403b, Pension), and Real Estate for example.

The length of marriage also continues to accrue if you are not married. This is significant because the term for payment of Spousal Support is often determined by the length of the marriage.

Please contact Attorney Keith F. Simpson if you have any questions regarding Date of Separation or your Divorce at (310) 297-9090. The Law Offices of Keith F. Simpson, A Professional Corporation, is located in Manhattan Beach, California.

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