Does Your Date of Separation Matter in Divorce?

Does Your Date of Separation Matter in Divorce?

Knowing your date of separation is important because of the implications this date can have on your divorce proceedings, including financial obligations and the division of marital property and debt. In this blog post, we will explore how Georgia defines the date of separation, why accurately determining your date of separation matters in divorce, and how this date can impact your divorce settlement.

What Is the Date of Separation?

Divorce can be a difficult and confusing process, especially when it comes to handling forms and legalities. It helps to have someone knowledgeable to guide you through the legal requirements of filing for divorce as an experienced attorney not only understands the state laws but also is familiar with court procedures and the terms used in filings and court. One such term that you may be unfamiliar with and need your attorney’s help

The date of separation serves as a determining factor for the amount of time either spouse has lived separately and apart. It affects when the divorce action was commenced and is also used to determine alimony or spousal support, identify separate vs. marital property, and help in the equitable division of property.

Legally, Georgia considers the date of separation when you and your spouse considered yourself separated. You may determine this day based on when:

  • either party moved out of the home or marital bed (permanently),
  • both parties agreed to divorce, or
  • marital relations ended.

How Does Your Date of Separation Affect Asset & Debt Division?

Georgia follows equitable distribution laws, which means that marital assets and debts will be distributed fairly rather than into equal halves. Marital assets and debts include liabilities and property that were acquired during your divorce; separate property and debt, which is not subject to division, include any debts and property you acquired prior to the union.

Separate property can also include any property or debt you acquired after your official date of separation. Thus, your date of separation can affect what property and debts are subject to division during the equitable distribution process.

How Do Courts Decide on Dates of Separation Disputes?

In some cases, spouses may disagree on when exactly their date of separation is. If you and your spouse have differing opinions, the court will consider the evidence each party has to support their claim.

For instance, both parties can submit proof of a change of residence or evidence of a spouse has moved to a different part of the home on a certain date. Other forms of evidence you may consider to prove your date of separation include photos or statements that show:

  • Either party permanently removed their wedding bands.
  • Both parties began separating their finances (if you had joint accounts that you no longer used or fed funds into once you separated).
  • Either party updated their estate plan and will to remove the other party.
  • Both parties spent the holidays separately (i.e. if you claim you separated on November 15th, you can show that the following Thanksgiving and Kwanzaa, you were not together during the holidays).

Consult with Our Experienced Divorce Attorneys

At Balbo & Gregg, Attorneys at Law, PC, our attorneys are equipped to handle divorce cases, including those involving disputes surrounding the date of separation. If you or a loved one are filing for or have filed for divorce, you can trust our firm with your case. Backed by over four decades of legal experience, we can advise you on how you can prove your date of separation, whether a cost-benefit analysis shows that continuing a dispute over the case is best for your case, and more.

Learn more about how our attorneys can help you by scheduling a consultation to discuss your case with one of our attorneys. Call (866) 580-3089 today.