No Such Thing as “Legal Separation” in PennsylvaniaJuly 21, 2015
“Legal Separation”? Not in Pennsylvania
Clients seeking a divorce often ask what they need to do to be legally separated. The answer is a simple one: either move out of the marital residence or file a divorce complaint. There is no such thing as “legal separation” in Pennsylvania and, in most cases, there is no formal document needed to confirm a separation.
Date of Separation Still Matters
However, the date of separation does have a legal bearing in two instances during a divorce process.
Length of Time Waiting for Divorce
The first is the length of time someone may have to wait for a divorce. If a spouse files for divorce but the other spouse does not want the divorce, or is not ready, the spouse who filed may have to wait until two years pass from the date the parties separated to obtain the divorce.
Valuing Marital Property
The other instance when the date of separation is important in a divorce is when valuing the marital property. Assets and debts of the couple acquired/incurred from the date of marriage to the date of separation make up the marital property to be allocated between the parties.
Make Sure You Understand How Your Date of Separation Affects You
If you are considering separation or divorce, consult with an attorney to determine how the actual date of separation may impact you.