Your Date of Separation Could Affect Property Division

If you and your spouse separated before your divorce, the date of that separation could have an impact on issues of property division, child support and alimony.

The definition of the “date of separation” may vary depending on where you are from, but most of the time it is the date the spouses no longer live together as a married couple. The most obvious example is when one spouse moves out of the marital home into a separate space with the intent of ending the relationship.

However, a spouse might not move out of the house as soon as he or she decides to end the relationship. An individual might stay in the home for financial reasons. He or she could then prove the date of separation by demonstrating the other spouse moved into a different room on a certain day.

Finally, the spouse moving out of the home might not necessarily indicate an intent to divorce. Other evidence, therefore, could include the date a spouse hires an attorney, communicates an intent to divorce or actually files for divorce.

Effects on property division

Income and property earned by a spouse during a marriage is generally considered marital property (with some exceptions) and sometimes the parties agree to use the date of separation as the date they set the values on assets and debts. This makes the date of separation very important. If one spouse argues the date of separation was, for example, six months earlier than the other spouse, there are six months’ worth of income and property acquisitions that hang in the balance.

It is important to note, however, that judges will not generally use the date of separation as the date of valuation unless they deem that the date of separation is the fair and equitable date to use.

If you have further questions about your date of separation may impact your divorce, contact an experienced Minnesota family law attorney with Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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