Fontana, CA asked in Divorce for California

Q: Is the date a divorce is filed or the date the divorce is finalized the date that a marriage is considered terminated

Or is it the date one party moves out to separate the end of the marriage? Trying to determine length of time one would get alimony if the marriage is to end

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1 Lawyer Answer
Rebecka  Monez
Rebecka Monez
  • Modesto, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: A divorce in California is final upon the entry of judgment or as you stated - finalized. There are three dates that are necessary to a divorce. The first one is the date of marriage. This one is the easiest to determine and can be found on your marriage license. The second date is the date of separation. That is the day that you and your spouse "separate", or one of you moves out of the marital residence. The "finalized" date is the third date. This date will be on your final divorce judgment papers from the court who issues it. Folks sometimes confuse the date of separation to be a "finalized" date because just about every family attorney will advise parties that once you have "separated" you are generally no longer responsible for debts that the other spouse incurs after that date of separation. This can put people under the impression that the marriage is "terminated". Although the date of separation serves as a "cut off" for assets and debts under California Community Property Laws, it still is not the final judgment/decree date. So the real end date is the one that will come on your paperwork from the court judgment. Best of luck to you.

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