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De Facto Termination of Marriage Date

An issue that goes hand-in-hand with the determination of separate versus marital property is the duration of the marriage.

Courts presume the duration of the marriage is from the date of marriage to the date of the final hearing in the divorce. However, courts may use a different date if it is equitable to do so. This is called the “de facto” termination of marriage date.

Depending on the county your divorce is filed in, various factors influence how a “de facto” date is determined. Those factors generally include whether the couple is still financially intertwined (ie. joint bank accounts or tax returns), attempts at reconciliation, whether the parties are still living together, and whether the couple is still holding themselves out as husband and wife.

If the court finds that a de facto date is appropriate, the length of the marriage could be significantly reduced, which could in turn significantly reduce the amount of marital assets which are subject to division.