In San Diego, California, absent a marital agreement stating otherwise, income earned during a marriage is considered marital property. As such, if a couple decides to divorce, it is crucial to determine the date of their separation, as any earnings accrued after that are considered separate. In a recent California divorce action, the Court discussed the factors evaluated in determining when the separation occurred. If you or your spouse wish to end your marriage, it is wise to confer with a San Diego family law attorney to discuss how the decision could impact you financially.
History of the Case
Allegedly, the parties married in 2007. The husband filed a divorce petition in June 2017. The parties disputed when they separated: the wife argued that separation occurred four months after they married, while the husband contended they did not separate until he filed for divorce. The case proceeded to a bench trial, after which the Trial Court adopted the husband’s reasoning. The wife appealed, arguing that the Trial Court failed to assess her conduct and intentions with regard to the marriage in consideration of the threats of deportation and domestic violence she received from the husband.
Determining When Separation Occurred in California Divorce Actions
On appeal, the Court declined to adopt the wife’s reasoning and affirmed the Trial Court’s judgment. The Court explained that the determination of the date of separation is an issue of fact, and it is established based on a preponderance of the evidence. When reviewing a Trial Court’s decision, the Court considers whether there is substantial evidence to support it, taking into account all reasonable and legitimate inferences. Continue reading