What exactly does "separation" mean in Pennsylvania? In Pennsylvania, you are either married or divorced. Unlike some states, there is no particular legal status as "separated." However, the identification of the "date of separation" is important for purposes of Pennsylvania divorce and equitable distribution.
There are two important reasons why you and your spouse will need to determine a date of separation. First, if one of you will not consent to the divorce, you cannot move the divorce forward until the passing of one year from the date of your separation. The second reason a date of separation is important is that some of your assets will be valued at the date of your separation.
Sometimes, it is easy to identify the date of separation. For instance, it might be the date that one of you left the house. However, it might even be earlier if you separated while still living together within the home. The key to establishing whether you were separated while you lived together is to analyze whether you held yourselves out as separated. For instance, did you tell your friends and family you were separated?
Importantly, when one of you files for divorce, you will be considered separated (for purposes of the waiting period and the valuation of assets) even if you are still living together.
Your divorce attorney will help you identify the date of separation based on your personal circumstances. During your initial consultation, we will discuss the facts in your marriage to help you identify this important date.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jennifer J. Riley offer free consultations to help you learn your legal rights and obligations related to your divorce, support, or custody matter. We believe that understanding your legal rights can help to empower to help you make life's difficult decisions. We strive to help reduce the fear everyone feels about the process.
We meet with our Montgomery County and Bucks County clients in our Blue Bell office; we meet with our Mainline clients in our Wayne, Pennsylvania office, located near the King of Prussia Town Center.
To schedule a free consultation, please contact us by email or by phone at 215-283-5080.