What Is Separation?
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Marital Separation Law In Pennsylvania
There are many misconceptions about separation in Pennsylvania. While some states have legal separation as an alternative to divorce, there is no such thing in Pennsylvania. However, your separation date — the date you begin to live separately from your spouse — is important for several reasons.
At Rowe Law Offices, P.C., our attorneys offer a free initial consultation to answer your questions about the divorce process in Pennsylvania. From our offices in Wyomissing and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, we serve Berks, Lancaster, York, Schuylkill and Lebanon counties and the Lehigh Valley.
Why Your Separation Date Is Important In Your Divorce
In Pennsylvania, your separation date is the date you and your spouse begin to live as two separate people. This can happen even if you and your spouse are living under the same roof. The separation date is important for several reasons:
- It is the date of valuation for marital assets such as real estate, stock and bank accounts.
- It is the final date for determining whether a debt is marital or separate debt. In Pennsylvania, marital debts are generally those incurred between the date of your marriage and your separation date.
- It is the date when the clock begins to tick as to when you can obtain a final divorce. In Pennsylvania, you can obtain an uncontested divorce 90 days after your date of separation. If your spouse does not consent to the divorce, however, you must wait two years from your separation date unless you proceed on a fault ground.
Since the separation is such an important date in your divorce proceeding, it is essential to discuss your situation with an experienced lawyer. If you make a mistake, the 90-day or two-year clock could start over. This could result in your divorce being delayed. You could also face financial consequences, such as being responsible for your spouse’s debts during a time when you thought you were separated.