Actor Gary Oldman's Divorce Highlights Importance of Date of Separation


Actor Gary Oldman, best known for his roles in The Dark Knight Rises and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, recently announced his pending divorce from wife Alexandra Edenborough. A jazz and electronica singer, Edenborough was Oldman's fourth wife. The couple have no children together, but Edenborough is asking for spousal support and assistance paying her attorney fees.

Oldman and Edenborough married on New Year's Eve 2008, but have listed their date of separation as "TBD" in the initial court documents. The date of separation is relevant in a California divorce because all property acquired after the date of separation is considered to be separate property, while property acquired before the couple separates may be considered community property that must be equally divided. Since many couples separate months or even years before officially filing for divorce, a disagreement about the official date of separation can often involve significant financial assets.

In most cases, the date of separation is determined as the date at which the couple began living apart. However, this is not always an accurate measure. Some couples are not able to live apart due to financial constraints that make it impossible to maintain two households. In this case, the court looks for evidence of physical separation under the same roof. For example, the couple might move into separate bedrooms and begin dating other people or open separate bank accounts even though they are still legally married. If a couple already maintains multiple households due to work-related obligations that require frequent travel, the court will look for multiple signs that they consider themselves to no longer be a couple as evidenced by the date of separation.

How Can We Help?

It is best to discuss concerns over your date of separation with your divorce attorney. Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you are in need of legal representation during your California divorce.