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Date of Separation in Divorce
The date of separation for divorce cases is the day there is a complete and final break in your marriage, both as expressed to the spouse and in conduct.
Family Code 70
(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 the intent to end the marriage.
(2) The conduct of the spouse is consistent with the intent to end the marriage.
Figuring out your date of separation
Have you expressed to your spouse your intent to end the marriage? Did you have a talk?
Do you have a text, email, letter?
Thereafter, was your conduct consistent? Did you continue to engage in marital relations? Did you move out? Did you quit marriage counseling? (Sometimes marriage counseling means you do NOT have an intent to end the marriage)
Make It Crystal Clear
Moving out is a crystal clear way to show that your conduct is consistent with the communication that the marriage is over.
So is filing and serving divorce papers.
Date of separation impacts several things, like Property Division and Spousal support.
Property Division Issues
Whether something is community or separate depends on your date of separation.
Other than inheritance and gifts (which as always separate, no matter when acquired), separate property is all assets and debts acquired BEFORE the date of marriage, and AFTER the date of separation.
Community property is all assets and debts acquired AFTER the date of marriage and before date of separation. (There are exceptions, though, like student loans).
Date of separation can also impact the length of time spousal support lasts. See Divorce and 10 year Rule.