Divorce in California: What does “living separate and apart” mean?

In re Marriage of Davis:

Pull up the actual PDF text of the California Supreme Court’s ruling–click below:


It appears that “Living separate and apart” will still require the additional objective showing of the “subjective intent to end the marital relationship.”

“From this survey of the history of section 771(a) and its predecessor statutes, as judicially construed, we are convinced that the Legislature intended the statutory phrase “living separate and apart” to require both separate residences and accompanying demonstrated intent to end the marital relationship. Consistent with the statute’s history and the developed standard articulated by the case law, we hold that “living separate and apart” refers to a situation in which spouses are living in separate residences and at least one of them has the subjective intent to end the marital relationship, which intent is objectively evidenced by words or conduct reflecting that there is a complete and final break in the marriage relationship.”

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