When you decide to divorce, it may be hard to prove exactly when a marriage stopped working.
In Pennsylvania, determining a date of separation is a legal way for you and your spouse to understand when you both ceased to be together.
Divorce and separation
According to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, separation officially occurs when you and your spouse stopped acting as a married couple would. The amount of time between a legal divorce and the date of separation can help you determine what assets you have a right to and what debt you are responsible for as a divorced person.
Signs of separation
Living in different residences is one way to show you and your spouse intend to divorce. Even when both of you live in the same house, it is possible to prove that you intended to live separate lives and did not interact as a married couple usually would.
Whether you both ate separate meals or did not sleep in the same room are signs of this intent. One spouse may even go on trips or vacations without letting the other one know. Taking note of these facts can show that you did not intend to stay together as a legally wedded couple, even if there is no written proof.
Since establishing this date is necessary to getting a no-fault divorce in some cases, it may be a contentious issue if you and your spouse disagree on when you were no longer a couple. Determining this date may also help you write a separation agreement, which is a legally binding document.