Removal of the wedding bands is also a pretty universal symbol that a marriage is over.
This communication can also extend outside of the couple in question.
If one spouse told a family member of their intent to separate, that exchange can be used as evidence, too.
Any assets acquired by either spouse post separation can be left out of the marital pot.
For example, 401K contributions after separation are non-marital, and thus would not be part of the pot to be divided during divorce.
Celebrating holidays together – If one spouse claims their date of separation to be, for example, November 12th of any year, and that following Thanksgiving and Christmas was the first year the family spent the holidays apart, that can be used as evidence to support their claim- especially if all holidays thereafter were also celebrated separately.
Pictures together – If one spouse claims a particular date of separation, and the other claims the marriage continued after that date, the latter spouse can use any pictures that may have been taken after the date in question as evidence to support their claim.
Either way, they usually don’t realize that the exact date of separation may be crucial within the divorce process.
In Pennsylvania the Divorce Code presumes that the latest date of separation is the date on which the first legal step in the divorce process is taken and the complaint is served.
The fact is, however, that the date of separation is extremely important in divorce cases.
It’s a frame of reference for determining what is in, and what is out of the marital pot.
Instead of being tied to a legal action, the intention is typically tied to emotion- an emotion each spouse rarely experiences at the same time.