At issue in Monday’s ruling was whether a couple that continues to live in the same home can qualify as separated for purposes of dividing assets. After reviewing the history of the law governing separation and assets, the court said it was convinced the Legislature intended for there to be separate residences as well as an accompanying demonstrated intent to end the marital relationship.
“The Supreme Court says no matter if people are seeing other people or have separate bank accounts, if they’re still in the same house they cannot be separated,” said Andy Cook, a family law attorney in San Diego who has been following the case.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – California couples thinking about ending their marriage got guidance Monday from the state Supreme Court: They must live in different homes to qualify as legally separated and keep some of their income from their spouse during any divorce proceedings.
The court’s unanimous ruling clarified what it means for a couple to separate.
In proceedings for dissolution of marriage in California, the date on which a married couple is deemed to have separated is legally significant.
Some spouses are often hurt when their marriage ends, and have no interest in pursuing a new relationship.
Section 70 explicitly states it is intended to abrogate . Because it does not say otherwise, Family Code section 70 is thus intended to apply retroactively to any pending cases resolved on or after January 1, 2017. amend V.) The extent to which this will complicate application of the new Family Code provisions regarding date of separation to pending cases will remain to be seen in the coming year.
Theoretically, any cases decided on or after that date will be decided under the new law even if the Parties were in the process of separating before the new law was passed. Ideally, a person intending to end their marriage will be able to make conscious decisions regarding separating from their spouse with knowledge and understanding of the law. Those divorcing or intending to divorce will likely want to consult with an attorney, as understanding the effect of the date of separation in a specific case is complex, and now only further complicated by changes in the law.
The date of separation is also relevant for purposes of determining the duration of spousal support. Rptr.3d 835].) This was a dramatic divergence from what many considered to be existing law, and there was a strong reaction to the case by practitioners.
Parties often agree about the date of separation, but that is certainly not always the case. All factors bearing on either party’s intentions “to return or not to return to the other spouse” are to be considered. Although requiring physical separation seemed to provide increased certainty as to when married persons would be considered “living separate and apart,” one of the primary criticisms was that the decision resulted in “disparate treatment based on a family’s economic status”: Many spouses cannot afford separate housing and remain in the family residence, but believe they are separated. The roughly 67% of family law litigants (higher in larger counties) who are self-represented may be living together out of financial necessity, but will most assuredly be under-informed about their rights and obligations during the separation period should no bright line date of separation exist. Legislation was quickly proposed to counteract the effect of ” legislation.