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Why is Your Separation Date Important in a Divorce?

Why is Your Separation Date Important in a Divorce?

Often in a divorce, the date of separation is a key factor in determining how assets and debts are divided, who retains custody of the children and how much child support and/or alimony is owed. Most of the time, the date of separation is the date on which the two parties officially no longer lived together as a married couple. Usually, this occurs when one spouse moves out of the couple’s marital home with the understanding that the relationship is coming to an end.

However, there are some situations in which a spouse might not choose to move out, even though there has already been an expressed intent to end the relationship. If this is the case, it may come down to other factors to determine a date of separation, such as when one spouse started sleeping in another room, when one party hired a divorce attorney or when one party filed for divorce. This is also important to consider in cases in which a spouse moved out of the marital home, but did not intend to file for divorce.

How separation date affects the divorce

Any income each party earned after the date of separation would be considered the sole property of that person, which means it would not be subject to the division of shared marital property. The key word here is “earned,” not “paid.” A paycheck that came in after the separation would still be subject to property division if it was earned before the separation. The same is true for property acquired during the marriage, but after the date of separation.

The separation date could also determine when an individual becomes responsible for paying alimony or child support. A court could rule the payer must make temporary child support payments from the time he or she leaves the marital residence.

If you have further questions about how your date of separation could impact your divorce case, speak with a knowledgeable Long Island family law attorney at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.


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