Supreme Court defines legal separation for divorcing couples | The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
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Supreme Court defines legal separation for divorcing couples

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What does it really mean for a married couple to be separated? For some, this means that they no longer live together and lead completely separate lives. For others, it means simply declaring an end to the marriage, but continuing to live with their spouse until the divorce is finalized. With people being confused about what it means to be separated, the confusion has finally been cleared up.

The California Supreme Court put an end to this confusion when it was ruled that a married couple is not considered separated until they are not living in the same home. This ruling was brought about after one couple experiencing a divorce had conflicting dates about when they became separated. The wife reportedly claimed that the separation began in 2006, but since she was still living in the home, the husband believed that the separation year was 2011.

Originally, the courts decided the wife was correct in the date that she and her husband separated, but with this new ruling by Supreme Court, the husband's date is considered valid. This means that he may be awarded a portion of the woman's income earned during the time she was still living in the home. This is because with the wife still living in the home and not establishing her own residence, property, as well as income, were technically still considered shared.

Couples experiencing a divorce may find it fairly simple to be confused by the rules and laws of their state. It is not unusual for this to occur, which is why it may be helpful to hire an attorney when both parties have agreed to divorce. People may not want to risk having to share whatever income they earn with their spouse, but by contacting an attorney, they may be able to avoid such a thing from happening.

Source: SF Gate, "State Supreme Court defines legal separation in divorce cases," Kale Williams, July 20, 2015

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