15 May 2014 0 Comments

What the “Date of Separation” means to you?

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The main function of the date of separation is to determine what property belongs to whom, or the property interests. If a spouse purchases a property after the date of separation, that property belongs solely to that spouse. If a spouse purchases a property before the date of separation, then it is considered communal property.

The date of separation is something that an attorney usually wants to establish right away. Often, it is hard the for the spouses to determine the exact date. If this is the case, there are two tests that can be performed to come to a decision.

The first test the court can carry out is an objective test. The objective test simply involves determining the date the couple physically separated; usually, this is the date where one of the spouses moves out the the marital home. However, the California Court recognizes that there may be situations where a couple separates, but neither spouse can afford to move out, whether because of finances or other interests . In cases like this, the court states that the evidence needs to “demonstrate unambiguous, objectively ascertainable conduct amounting to a physical separation under the same roof.” However, in some cases a physical separation is not enough to show the separation. If this is the case, the court will perform a subjective test.

The subjective test is necessary since there are instances where a couple might be living separately, while having no intention to legally separate. In this test, the court will ask questions of the couple to find out their general conduct to each other. Questions might be, “when did you decide you wanted a divorce?” or, “when did you feel as if the marriage was over?” The court will use this information, as well as the information from the objective test to decide on a final separation date. The date of separation needs to be established before proceeding in the divorce process.

Are you feeling the pressure from your spouse to determine the date of separation, get in contact with a divorce attorney near you. Have an expert divorce attorney discuss your case with you before you agree, or feel like you have to submit to anything. Ensure your interest are being protected through the entire divorce process by having the best family law & divorce law firm representing you.

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