In re Marriage of Davis created a seismic change in California Divorce Cases. Under the ruling in Davis, in order to be considered to be “living separate and apart,” the parties must physically separate, meaning they cannot be living under the same roof.
This is a major shift in the law. Prior to Davis, parties could argue various factors such as sleeping in different rooms and using separate bank accounts to determine the date of separation, even though they were still living under the same residence. Davis changed that by holding that living in separate residences “is an indispensable threshold requirement” for determining whether the parties are “living separate and apart”.
In re Marriage of Davis will have a significant impact on many individuals. Today, in order for the parties to be considered to be “living separate and apart”, they cannot be living together. This distinction is extremely important when determining division of assets and length of spousal support, among other things.