Menu
menu
News and Resources

Encinitas Divorce Lawyer Explains Big Change in the Law

shutterstock_111679622Major Supreme Court Decision Changes Family Law:   Irmo Davis

A California Supreme Court decision hot off the presses is going to change the game when it comes to how divorces are handled in California family court. In the case of Marriage of Davis filed July 20, 2014 the Supreme Court changed the interpretation of the law with regard to ascertaining the date of separation. This decision will have major implications on pending cases. In fact there could be swings of tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in high asset divorce cases wherein the date of separation is at issue.

Marital Community Defined.  Date of Marriage to Date of Separation

In California, the martial relationship is measured from the date of marriage to the date of separation. “Separation” is defined as the date that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” This can mean many different things depending on who you ask. When parties divorce, their community property is divided equally between the Husband and Wife. Community property is defined as all property acquired by either spouse between the date of marriage and the date of separation.

“In a high income and high asset case, the lower wage earner may very well want to extend the date of separation as far out as possible so as to continue to reap the benefits of the higher wage earner’s income and retirement savings. While the high wage earner is going to want to financially separate from his or her spouse sooner than later” says Encinitas divorce lawyer John Griffith.

The date of marriage is easily ascertainable for obvious reasons. However, the date of separation can be a point of contention for various reasons. Some divorce cases actually go to trial in order to determine the proper date of separation. Community property rights cannot be determined until the date of separation is agreed upon or ruled upon by the judge.

New Strict Requirement for Date of Separation

The Davis case requires that the parties live separate and apart (in different households) in order to be determined to be separated for the purpose of division of property. This is a big change primarily because quite often spouses decide to live together under the same roof during the pendency of the divorce. This is no longer an option for those seeking to be determined to be “separated” for financial reasons.

Divorce can be a complex process. Knowing and understanding the law can make a big difference in how you approach your case even from the very beginning. If you have a lot to lose then it is worth it to talk to divorce lawyer—if even for a consultation so that you know your options.

Meet Your Dedicated San Diego Family Attorneys
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS

Family Attorney, John N. Griffith, CFLS

John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

858-345-1720
john@gylfamilylaw.com

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.
Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

San Diego family lawyer Catie Young has a wide range of litigation experience. She has worked in civil litigation. She has successfully represented clients in many areas of family law including child support, child custody, divorce and domestic violence. She has a unique approach to each child custody case, so clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases.

858-345-1720
catie@gylfamilylaw.com

Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.
Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Family Attorney, Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Amy Lass was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting and went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006. Amy takes a practical and cost considerate approach to the process while striving to balance the emotional needs and objectives of her clients.

858-345-1720
amy@gylfamilylaw.com

  • acfis
  • acfis
  • bear
  • bear
  • bear
The Typical Divorce Process in California
Discovery of Assets & Obligations (1-3 months)
1 Complaint for Divorce Filed Start of litigation
2 Complaint is Served Varies, but usually shortly after the complaint is filed
3 Answer to Complaint Due 30 days from the date of service
4 Mediation Anytime, but usually after initial discovery
5 Temporary Hearing Usually early in the process
6 Late Case Evaluation / Judicial Hosted Settlement Conference Usually near the end of the case
7 Trial (If Needed) The goal is to settle, but if your case goes to trial, it could take months after the start of litigation.
We deliver results
I am beyond grateful for the entire staff at Griffith, Young, and Lass. I don't even call myself a client anymore, they are my friends that protected my family and fought with me, side by side.-Erik H., San Diego