August 9, 2022
Est. Reading: 4 minutes

Been separated from my partner for a couple of weeks, Can I date now?

I am separated from my partner for a couple of weeks and There are a variety of reasons why the "date of separation" (when one spouse determines the marriage is formally finished) is really more crucial than the date on which the divorce will become final for divorcing couples. When determining matters like property distribution, child support, alimony, and adultery, courts in many jurisdictions consider the date of separation.

In what year did the couple divorce?

Depending on the state, the exact meaning of "date of separation" may vary, but in general, it refers to the point at which a married couple ceases to cohabit. When one spouse leaves the marital residence with the intention of dissolving the partnership, it is a separation.

When a couple decides to terminate their relationship, they may not immediately move out of the house for financial or other reasons. In certain circumstances, the date of separation will be determined by a court based on other considerations. When a spouse moves into a separate room in the home or files for divorce, they might demonstrate a date of separation.

Occasionally, one spouse may leave the marital domicile but not want to divorce the other spouse. For example, the date a spouse engages an attorney expresses a desire to divorce, or actually, files for divorce will be taken into consideration by the court in certain circumstances.

Is Income and Property Division Affected by the Date of Divorce?

Marital property is defined in most jurisdictions as any money earned by a spouse throughout the course of the marriage (also called "joint property" or "community property"). The money obtained by any partner throughout the marriage is, thus, a legitimate claim for both partners (unless the couple has a valid prenuptial agreement that says otherwise).

After the date of separation, any income earned by spouses is theirs to keep. It's important to keep in mind that money earned before the date of separation but not paid until after the date of separation is still marital property. In the end, what matters most is when the money was earned, not when it was paid. There are several situations in which a year-end bonus might be considered marital property, such as in the case of a year-end bonus that a spouse receives while the pair is still married. When valuing stock options or other delayed payments, courts often utilize the precise circumstances at the time of separation to determine the value of the asset. Check with a local family law attorney to find out how your state's courts assess assets in a divorce in your state.

Joint or community property will also be defined as any property obtained during a marriage but before the date of separation. Community property states like California necessitate that if a couple purchases property with marital money prior to separation, it must be shared equally or 50/50 — if the couple resides in a community property state.

Rossi vs. Rossi, a landmark California divorce case, demonstrates how crucial it is to know when you and your spouse are separated. Denise Rossi won almost $1.3 million in the California lotto in December 1996 as a result of a lottery pool at her place of employment. She never mentioned the money to her ex-husband, Thomas Rossi. A month after Denise filed for divorce in January 1997, she got her first lottery payout. After the divorce was finalized, Thomas learned about the money and requested a court to overturn the verdict. Because they were acquired during the marriage and before the date of separation, the trial court determined that the lottery wins were community property. Denise intentionally hid the $1.3 million throughout the marriage and during the divorce process, therefore the court awarded Thomas the whole amount.

How Do Child Support and Alimony Affect the Date of Divorce?

For child support and alimony payments, the date of separation might have an impact (also called "spousal support"). Temporary child support and alimony may be ordered from a spouse who has relocated out of the marital home, for example, if he generates the majority of the household's income. Child support and alimony may only be available in certain states when a spouse files for divorce and asks for assistance. To guarantee that you are qualified for the financial assistance you are entitled to, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible following the date of your separation.

In what ways does the date of separation impact the likelihood of an adulterous relationship?

As soon as you and your spouse separate, you no longer have an obligation to be loyal to one other. After the date of separation in these states, any sexual activity that a spouse participates in is not considered adultery. Since the couple has already split, courts will not consider the connection to be the cause of the divorce, unless the relationship started prior to the couple's separation from each other... Even after the date of separation, some divorces might take more than a year to be finalized, allowing both parties to establish new relationships.

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