The Separation Date in Divorce: Here’s What You Should Know (Pt. 2)
Continuing from The Separation Date in Divorce: Here’s What You Should Know (Pt. 1), here, we will take a closer look at just why the date of separation for a couple may be important in divorce cases.
Why the Separation Date in Divorce Can Be Important: Dividing Marital Property
Although the separation date in divorce may be a non-issue in some cases, it can be important in others when it comes to dividing the marital property and, in particular, when:
- Figuring out what assets are included in the marital property – Assets like retirement funds, pensions and income can all be points of heated disputes in divorce. However, when there is ambiguity about the separation date in divorce, any assets that one spouse may have earned or received around a disputed separation date can make these disputes that much more contentious.This is generally because one party will likely try to argue that the separation date in divorce was far earlier (to exclude the assets from qualifying as marital property) while the other tries to argue that this date was later (to have these assets included).
- Dividing the marital debt – Similar to marital assets, marital debt will be divided in divorce, and the separation date in divorce may be important to determining whether both or just one of the spouses will be on the hook for repayment.With marital debt, however, it’s important to note that, even if the court assigns the debt obligation to one spouse as part of the final divorce decree (due to, for instance, the fact that the debt was acquired after the separation date in divorce), both spouses may still be legally obligated to repay it (and creditors may be able to come after both spouses in the event of a future default).
- Determining spousal maintenance – In some cases, when the separation date in divorce can impact whether a marriage is considered to be “long term” in the eyes of the court. Given that the length of the marriage can directly impact determinations regarding spousal maintenance, the separation date in divorce may also be crucial if a marriage has lasted nearly long enough to qualify as “long term” (depending on the separation date listed in the divorce petition).
There can be other reasons that the separation date in divorce may be important, such as when it comes to evaluating the appreciation/depreciation of various assets and/or when filing tax returns. So, you should consult with an experienced Las Vegas divorce lawyer at RIGHT Lawyers if the separation date in divorce may be an issue in your case.
With the separation date in divorce, the bottom line is that:
- If you haven’t yet officially separated from your ex, there may be some benefits to acting now or waiting to separate (depending, of course, on your situation) – An experienced Las Vegas divorce lawyer can advise you regarding your best options for “officially” separating from your ex, including whether it’s better for you to separate and stay in the marital home, separate and move out, etc.
If you have officially separated and filed for divorce and the separation date is a disputed issue in your divorce case, again, an experienced divorce attorney can be crucial to helping you:
- Decide whether it’s worth it to fight for your preferred separation date (or not)
- Mount an effective challenge in these disputes when there may be a lot on the line.