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Hello again; thank you kindly for requesting me! California goes by the date of physical separation, not legal separation, and not divorce. So for example, if you were married and lived together from 8/94-4/96, these would be the dates for community property interests; however, if you married and lived together from 8/94-12/95, one of you moved out 12/95, and then one filed for divorce on 4/96, the relevant date would be 8/94-12/95. So again, date of marriage until date of physical separation. It is of course totally possible that the date of legal separation (filing) and the date of physical separation (moving out) are the same - I just wanted to clarify.
thank you so much.