While the laws vary by state, the importance of separation dates in divorce cases usually has to do with the valuations of certain properties that are part of the community assets, says Judge Eugene Hyman, retired Superior Court Judge in Santa Clara, California. These are typically stocks, he adds, but can be other things as well, such as the value of real estate.
In a recent California case, a wife indicated that she wanted a divorce but doesn't file immediately. At the point of her announcing she wants a divorce, the couple divides a lot of their assets, continue to have separate accounts and treat their incomes separately, all the while still living together in the same residence. Income earned after a separation belongs to the individual that earned it, making the date of separation important, notes Hyman.
The Court had ruled in favor of the wife, which has been appealed by the husband, because it was determined that while they were still living together, they were doing so in separate rooms and according to the evidence, the wife resided at home still for their children, says Hyman. He says that separated couples still residing in the same household is becoming more common due to the economy but that typically only cases with large assets involved are brought forth before a court.
Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.