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 child support.
A Los Angeles divorce attorney can help you to learn how your separation date will affect your divorce case. Call today!