Can she dispute our separation date?

She left August 28, 2022. We’ve lived in separate residences since then with everything separate…finances, residences and etc. Our intention was to work on our marriage and reconcile, with me moving back in with her in July 2023. We had a major disagreement in April 2023 and I decided not to move in with her and have remained separated. I want a divorce now.
But, I was told by an attorney that since I spent weekends at her house from January to April, she can possibly dispute our actually separation date? She has threatened to dispute it as well. The attorney’s advice was to wait until April 2024 to file for divorce?
Is this correct that she will have grounds to dispute our separation date?

Based on the information you’ve provided I agree that the date of separation is in April 2023.

In order to be separated, two things must be true: (1) you must live separately and apart AND (2) at least one of the parties must have separated with the intent to remain permanently separate in apart.

In August 2022, you satisfied the first requirement in that you were living in separate residences, but it was not with the intent to remain permanently separate and apart.

It sounds like you did not form the intent to remain permanently separate and apart until April 2023, at which point you then satisfy the second requirement.

It is correct that your wife (or either party) can contest the date of separation.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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Thank you Anna for your response.