California Divorce Petition Must Have Date Of Separation

When you were completing your California Divorce petition form number FL – 100 you need to complete section 3 where it says date of marriage and date of separation.

In the last week alone I have had two phone calls from potential clients who started their divorce case on their own and who did not complete the date of separation. Meaning they did not put a date where it asks for date of separation nor did they indicate the length of marriage.  When I tell them that their petition is faulty and will have to be amended and corrected and refiled they usually explain that the reason they did not put in the date of separation is because they are not legally separated or because they are still living together.

It does not matter if you are still living together or not you still have to put in a date of separation and indicate the length of marriage.

because you’re going to have to re-file an amended petition and have your spouse re-served.


Here are a few ideas of what you can use for the date of separation. First if you have no other date in mind meaning, meaning you didn’t discuss a previous date to use as a date of separation most people just default and use the date they are filing for divorce as the date of separation. You can do this even if you are still living together.

Second if there is a date in the past that you either discussed getting divorced or you moved out of the house or even if you moved into the spare bedroom or started sleeping on a couch that is a data separation you could use as well.

Keep in mind the date of separation you use can be very important in some divorce cases. However if you are going through an amicable divorce the date of separation is not going to be that important. Meaning if you are in agreement to all the terms of your divorce the date of separation will not play an important role.

Because we see these types of mistakes and others often we recommend you use our divorce service from day one before you ever file a single divorce document. What people don’t know is if you make even a single mistake or miss even a single check box on the divorce petition it will have to be amended and if you are several months into the process of your divorce this will cause the six-month cooling off period to begin again