Many dates in our lives have varying degrees of significance. Depending upon that significance, we may or may not commit certain dates to memory or write them down and file them for future reference.
Most people remember the year when they separated from their spouses. Nearly as many remember the month. A surprising number remember the actual date.
Before we go further, let’s discuss the importance of the date of separation in a simple, low-cost, uncontested no-fault divorce. If a couple has resided separately and apart for less than one year, their no-fault divorce must have a 90-day waiting period which begins after the case is filed in Court and the other party receives a copy of it. After a year (or more) of separation, there is no 90-day period required, so such a divorce can be, at least in theory, 90 days shorter.
In some very expensive divorces, a lawyer may appear before the Court and argue that the couple has been separated even though they resided under the same roof for part or all of the year. For a low-cost divorce, the lawyer will not be going into Court so separation means living under different roofs for every day of the last 12 months.
Assuming that the couple has been apart for a year, any date more than one year ago upon which they may agree will do; however, agreeing on a phony separation date over a year, when you really have not been separated that long, to get a faster divorce could result in a fatally flawed divorce based upon a perjured affidavit of separation. Not a good idea at all.
I have had cases wherein my client provided a date of separation over a year old only to have the spouse disagree and say that the separation is far less than a year. To keep the divorce low-cost and moving forward, I advise my client to simply endure the 90-day wait. Doing so usually results in a shorter divorce than waiting for and using the spouse’s date of separation. In short, that date simply is not worth the argument.