The date of separation plays a very important role in California
divorce cases. This is partially because the date plays a key role in community
property rights and spousal support. California is considered a community
property state, meaning that all property acquired during a marriage is
presumed to belong to spouses equally. At the time of separation, each
spouse maintains their own identity and their rights to possession.
Essentially, any expenses that are collected after the separation date
only belong to the spouse that purchased them. This means that, for example,
if a woman buys a car after separating from her husband, he has no legal
right to the car. Therefore, it is very important for separating spouses
to document their date of separation, as this will be referred to commonly
in the courts. Determining the date of separation is essential for deciding
what rights each spouse has and to what property. Income earned and assets
that are acquired after the date of separation will not be factored into
the property division.
As well, the date of separation affects
spousal support procedure. The date of separation is what will determine the length of
the marriage. This can then lead to a different spousal support award.
This is because California law gives family courts indefinite jurisdiction
over spousal support matters in marriages of long duration. Normally,
a marriage of long duration is one that lasted over 10 years. However,
if the couple separates and does not file for divorce for several years
the court may regard their date of separation as the date that the marriage
ended. This may reduce the stay-at-home spouse's ability to earn maximum
A Los Angeles divorce attorney can help you to learn how your separation
date will affect your divorce case. Call today!