Science is a marvel: Law is sometimes a bit less precise. When, exactly, was your date of separation in your Virginia marriage? Sometimes they fizzle out, both husband and wife exhausted by it all. Pinpointing the precise moment may not be as obvious, say, as knowing the exact date of the next complete solar eclipse as of this writing, August 21, A marriage may erode; trust may falter; a spouse may be unfaithful but the other spouse not notice right away.
If your marriage does not come to a crashing close, like the final act of an opera, you may not even understand the legal importance of the date of separation. Or, you may acknowledge it but lose track amid the fear, frustration, anger and resentment marking your days. Date of Separation According to Virginia Code In Virginia, the date of separation marks the beginning of the divorce countdown.
According to the Code of Virginia if you are a frequent reader of these writings, you know how we love to quote the Code of Virginia , you can file for divorce one year after separation if you have kids or six months if you have no kids.
Some action must trigger the start of that countdown clock, though. The easiest one to enshrine legally is a property settlement agreement or separation agreement, because in it the two of you sign that you were legally separated since X date. Separating While Living Under the Same Roof The date of separation becomes trickier to determine if one of you cannot afford to vacate the marital home, or feels honor-bound to remain for the good of your children.
You need to be crystal-clear in your intentions if you are to continue living under the same roof: Move out of the marital bedroom Desist having sex with your spouse Notify your spouse of your intention to get a divorce Do nothing to help your spouse no cooking, cleaning, shopping, or any of the many things married people do for each other If you have children together, you can associate with each other for family functions, but other than that, you need to advertise and portray yourself as separate and intending to divorce your wife.
The date when you vacate the marital bed is your date of separation. Make a note of it, unpleasant as it may be.
Apogee and Perigee Marriages take their courses. For most of the time, you long for the two of you to be a perigee or perihelion — at your closest. As a marriage withers, you find yourself distant, apart; you are at aphelion or apogee, furthest apart, to borrow more terms from astronomy. If the sunlight has dimmed in your marriage, you may not even be able to muster the energy to keep track of simple tasks, but knowing your date of separation is crucial for your financial and personal well-being.
The date of separation also determines the date from which property assignment occurs: If you do not have a firm date of separation, your ex-wife could lay claim to the Polaris Sportsman four-wheeler you bought yourself in consolation after your marriage dissolved. The Date of Separation and Spousal Support The date of separation can also help you if you have tried to be an honorable Virginian, sending your wife payments during the separation.
These payments, although made before your divorce decree, can be counted by a Virginia court towards any defined duration payments, allowing you to be done with spousal support, after the divorce, a bit earlier. Notify your attorney of the date you consider to be the beginning of your separation, and be sure to provide the names and contact information of corroborating witnesses, such as relatives and friends.
Get your dates and facts straight, and keep your calendar clear, so you can pinpoint precisely when your date of separation was for your Virginia divorce.
Contact The Firm for Men at , or reach out to us online. We are here to help you understand legal terms and legal concepts, like date of separation and what a property settlement agreement is … plus, we have offices in Newport News as well as Virginia Beach.