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What’s the significance of the date of separation in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2019 | Property Division |

Do you know when you ultimately decided to throw in the towel on your marriage? Did you take any definitive actions once you decided that you’d had enough? These are some questions that your attorney may ask of you in order to better hone in on a date of separation (DOS) in your divorce case.

One reason that establishing a DOS is important is that the date ultimately becomes a defining line that helps a judge determine what property and other assets you’re entitled to when you divorce.

Each jurisdiction has their own way of determining the date that you separated from your spouse. In some cases, it may be the day that you started sleeping in separate rooms. In other cases, it could be the day that one of you moved out of the marital home. It may even be the date when one spouse formally filed paperwork regarding the divorce with the local court.

What a jurisdiction’s rules say about when the DOS occurred can have a lot of significance for both spouses. Since most income and assets acquired during the marriage are considered marital property, that property ultimately gets split up between the two of you when you divorce. Any property acquired or income generated after the DOS generally only belongs to one of you and doesn’t get split.

If your spouse, for example, gets a big cash bonus after you’ve split up, then you may not be entitled to any of it. The same logic applies to debts. If your ex goes into a bank and takes out a loan after your DOS, then you may not be left on the hook for any part of that loan.

Many of the primary reasons that Florida divorces are contested relate to financial and property matters. When you and your ex are an impasse and aren’t getting anywhere trying to negotiate what to do with your assets, an experienced attorney can help handle your contested divorce.


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