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Why the Date of Your Separation Matters

The Torres Law Firm Feb. 7, 2024

Going through a separation is not an easy process. It’s a time filled with emotional turmoil and uncertainty. But amidst this chaos, it's crucial to remember one significant detail - the date of your separation. This date is more than just a mark on your calendar; it can significantly impact various aspects of your divorce proceedings

The date of separation is when you and your spouse decided to live apart and ended the marital relationship. It's not necessarily when one of you moved out, but when you began living separate lives. We've seen how this specific date can become a pivotal point in divorce cases and can affect everything from property division to spousal support. 

How the Date Affects Your Divorce


The date of separation can heavily influence the division of assets and liabilities. In Texas, property acquired during the marriage is typically considered community property and is divided equitably upon divorce. However, any property acquired after the date of separation is generally considered separate property and remains with the individual who acquired it. 

Spousal Support  

Spousal support, or alimony, can also be influenced by the date of separation. The duration of the marriage often determines the length of time spousal support is awarded. So, if the date of separation is earlier, it could potentially shorten the duration of spousal support payments. 

Child Custody and Support  

Child custody and support arrangements can also be affected. The court will consider the best interest of the child, and the living arrangements since the date of separation can play a role in this decision. 

Financial Considerations  

The date of separation also has financial implications. It can affect your taxes, as you may be able to file as a single taxpayer if you were separated by the end of the year. It can also impact debts; generally, debts incurred after the date of separation are considered separate debts. 

The Risks of an Incorrect Separation Date 

Getting the date of separation wrong can have several detrimental consequences on your divorce proceedings.  

If the date is inaccurately reported, it may lead to disputes over property division, as assets and debts acquired close to this date could be contested grounds. An incorrect date might also affect the calculation of spousal support duration, potentially resulting in either party receiving more or less support than they might be entitled to under the law. Furthermore, it may impact tax filings, leading to potential penalties or audits if filings are not consistent with the established date of separation.  

It is essential to accurately establish and agree upon this date to avoid these complications and ensure a fair and efficient resolution to the dissolution of the marriage. The Torres Law Firm is diligent in assisting clients to determine and corroborate the correct date of separation to safeguard against these risks. 


How do you prove the date of separation? 

Proving the date can involve providing documentation or evidence that illustrates you and your spouse have been living separate lives. This could include a change in financial accounts, written communication about the separation, or a physical move from the marital home. 

What if my spouse and I disagree on the date of separation? 

If there's a dispute, it can be resolved through evidence presented in court that supports one party's claim. It's crucial to have legal representation to navigate these disputes effectively. 

Do I need to file any paperwork to establish the date of separation? 

While you don't necessarily need to file paperwork to establish the date, documenting it can be helpful. Forms and filings may later require you to state the date, and having a record can provide clarity and support your position. 

Understand Your Options 

Separation is tough, but remember, you have rights and protections under Texas law. We're here to help you understand these rights and navigate the complexities of your situation. 

We at The Torres Law Firm believe in providing personalized legal advice tailored to your unique circumstances. We're here to help you through your separation, ensuring your interests are protected every step of the way. 

With our extensive experience and deep understanding of Texas family law, we're well-positioned to guide you through this challenging time. Our commitment is to provide empathetic, professional legal support that puts your needs first. 

Don't face this challenging time alone. Reach out to us at The Torres Law Firm. Let us stand by your side, providing the legal guidance you need to navigate your separation and protect your future.