Date of separation would seem like a very simple concept to most. In true lawyerly fashion, it has been subject of many case law.
Current case law states, in a nutshell, that in order to be considered “separated” the parties have to be living separate and a part. This creates a problem once a party files for dissolution or legal separation but still lives with their soon to-be-former-spouse. So by the current case, there are instances where long after the divorce has been filed the parties are still not considered separated.
This is important because all earnings during this time would still be considered community property. For example, if Wife files for dissolution and does not move out, the divorce takes two years to complete, by the current case law it is likely that all of the retirement contributions and her earnings would still be considered community property.
The Bill 1255 proposed by Governor Brown would give some clarity as to the date of separation.
The facts of the bill are at the link below. If you have any questions or want to learn more about date of separation do not hesitate to contact Ms. Palazuelos.