May 27, 2009

When Does the Date of Separation Matter? When You Are Mel Gibson

When does the date of your separation matter? When you are Mel Gibson. Family lawyers in West Palm Beach, Florida know that Florida is an equitable distribution state. Consequently, the marital estate (consisting of the assets and liabilities to be divided in a divorce) commences on the date of the marriage and ends upon the filing of the divorce petition or on an alternative date agreed upon by the parties.

Divorce attorneys know that California (where the divorce of Mel Gibson and his wife has been filed) is a community property state. In such states, the conclusion of the time period for the acquisition of marital assets and liabilities is the date of separation, not the date of the filing of a divorce petition. In the community property state, the post-separation earnings of a party comprise separate property of that party. Acquisitions during a marriage prior to separation are presumed to be community property.

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In his divorce pleadings, Mel Gibson has indicated a date of separation in 2006. His wife has not yet declared the date of separation. However, fans of Mel Gibson would know that his films Apocalypto and The Passion of Christ were both released subsequent to the date that he has labeled as his date of separation from his wife. The money generated by Mel Gibson from these movies could total well in excess of a hundred million dollars. Consequently, with no prenuptial agreement, the Gibsons may be heading toward a "date of separation” battle. Hopefully, calmer heads will prevail. With a marital estate worth estimated between $800 million and well in excess of a billion dollars, one would hope that there is plenty of money to divide between these parties without having a contentious court battle.


Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss divorce in Florida, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A.The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. or call 561-478-0312.


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