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What are the financial effects of the separation date?

History books refer to June 6, 1944, when the Allied armies landed the largest invasion force ever assembled on the north French coast of Normandy, quite simply as "D-Day". Generally speaking, historians mark this date as the official beginning of the end for Hitler’s Nazi Germany. During the divorce process, there are references to three such D-Days: the Date of Marriage, the Date of Separation, and the Date of Divorce. In reality, with respect to a marriage, the beginning of the end traditionally comes with the formal Date of Separation. Not unlike June 6, 1944, its impact is far-reaching.

Dependent upon the laws of the state in which you reside, the actual Date of Separation is quite critical and can have a dramatic effect on things such as credit, pension benefits, and other marital assets. From this date on, you and your ex-spouse to be are now in limbo both legally and financially, and will retain such status until the actual Date of Divorce. During this time period, there is quite literally a potentially large amount of money at stake, depending upon you and your spouse’s particular situation. You may still be held responsible for any debts incurred by your spouse after the DOS; the value of a retirement plan or other marital asset such as residential property can go up or down, often by thousands of dollars, contingent upon the applicable laws of your home state.