What the Law Says About Your Date of Separation

Though 2017 is in full swing, you may be unaware of a recent revision to a law that determines the actual date you and your partner separated.

Possibly one of the biggest changes in family law to form this year, this page explains the revision made by California’s State Legislature, and how it could affect you and your separation.

Learn Your Date of Separation

Q. What does it mean to live “separate and apart?”

According to California’s State Legislature Revised Family Code Section 70, the date of separation refers to the date that a complete and final break in the marital relationship occurred. This is evidenced by the following factors:

  1. One spouse has expressed to the other 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

Specifically, this revision preserves a date of separation that is consistent with a party’s intent – with no regard to whether the party physically moved out of the marital home.

What Prompted the Revision?

This revision comes in response to the decision held In re Marriage of Davis (2015) 61 Cal. 4th 846.

The Court originally decided that the date of separation would be construed as to when the parties began living separate and apart – meaning they physically separated, as evidenced by a move-out.

However, in response to a public outcry over the decision (mostly from family law attorneys) California’s State Legislature made the revision.

Further, for parties to be considered living “separate and apart,” the two must have a clear and objective arrangement that explicitly details a final termination of the relationship.

Do you have questions about your separation date? Contact the Zarin Law Firm today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation by calling (619) 800-4189.

We are ready to help answer any questions you may have, and begin the process of moving on with your life.

“She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails” – Elizabeth Edwards