Date of Separation Revisited

The date of separation is a critical issue in characterizing property and the length of marriage for the purposes of spousal support duration. In a previous post, I talked about In re. Marriage of Davis, a 2015 decision that defined the date of separation. Davis held that spouses are not separated if they live in the same home. Under Davis,living in different homes became a requirement for separation. California legislature passed Family Code § 70, which will be effective on January 1, 2017 to deal with the “date of separation” issue.
Family Code § 70 reads:
(a) “Date of separation” means the date that a complete and final break in the marital relationship has occurred, as evidenced by both of the following:
(1) The spouse has expressed to the other spouse his or her intent to end the marriage.
(2) The conduct of the spouse is consistent with his or her intent to end the marriage.
(b) In determining the date of separation, the court shall take into consideration all relevant evidence.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section to abrogate the decisions in In re Marriage of Davis (2015) 61 Cal.4th 846 and In re Marriage of Norviel (2002) 102 Cal.App.4th 1152.
Family Code § 70 makes living in separate homes a factor in the “date of separation” analysis. Consult a San Jose divorce lawyer for more information on this topic and how your “date of separation” will play a role in your case.

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Written by Ekaterina Berman, a San Jose divorce and family immigration lawyer. My goal is to provide caring and experienced representation in family law matters to every client.