"Legal Separation" in PA: The Great Myth

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"Legal Separation" in PA: The Great Myth


 I am always amazed at the number of clients who ask me how they can get a "legal separation" in Pennsylvania. While a contract for their separation through a private civil agreement is common, in actuality, the concept of a legal separation does not exist in PA. Unlike several other states, Pennsylvania does not require separating parties to go to court and request a judge to issue what is called a "separate maintenance decree" thaUpset and emotional middle aged couple after an argument. stock photographyt officially declares their marriage over. 


Rather, separating spouses in PA may contract for their separation through a private civil agreement in which they can address the division of their martial assets and debts at the time of separation, child custody, child and spousal support and/or alimony upon any divorce that takes place, life and medical insurance issues, estate matters, and how the interim bills, expenses, accounts and other finances are to be handled during the separation period. 

Date of separation in PA becomes a crucial question since the marital value of most assets and debts are measured as of this date. In PA, separation does not always mean physical separation.  In fact, spouses can be regarded as separated while still living under the same roof. The key question a court will ask is at what point did the spouses stop acting like a married couple.

Upon spouses notarizing their signatures on the agreement, it becomes a lelegal separation in pagally binding document under general contract principles. Any disputes under the agreement will be addressed by a general civil court judge, not a family court judge. This agreement can remain in effect for an indefinite period of time, and can also be amended at any time upon agreement of the spouses. 

If a divorce is subsequently filed by either party, the agreement may be attached to the divorce petition and presented to the family court for approval and final divorce decree. 

If you and your spouse both agree that your marriage is over, (and especially if you have since physically separated), but do not wish to move forward with a divorce for whatever reason, it is absolutely crucial to have a separation agreement in place which protects you both during this period. 

If left unaddressed, values of your assets and debts are likely to fluctuate greatly over time and this will inevitably result in a dispute between you and your spouse later on over when the separation occurred--all this because you didn't address it earlier at a time when you could both agree that the marriage was over.

To learn more about how you and your spouse can obtain a quick, peaceful and amicable separation agreement through mediation, please call us at 610-764-7144 to schedule your free consultation or www.myhealthydivorce.com.




I have not been living with my husband for 2years he will not sign the paper so howcan I get dovice with him sign I live pittsburgh and we do not have anything to gather
Posted @ Sunday, February 24, 2013 6:06 AM by romona
If you and your husband have been living separate and apart for at least two years, you have the right to proceed with what is called a unilateral divorce in which you can ask the court to issue a final divorce decree. I would suggest contacting a local attorney in Pittsburgh who can review with you all your rights and options.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 19, 2013 6:33 AM by Crispino Pastore
I have been living in Texas, because my (now separated) husband is in the military, and only just got to PA 2 months ago. He is in Korea. We agreed informally that he would pay support, but now he will not talk to me & he transferred his pay to another account. Is there anything I can do to get support, or should I wait until time to file for divorce?  
He does receive extra pay while married to me.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 02, 2013 12:52 AM by Alina
Can you tell me the divorce rule exactly i mean in what terms we get a divorce easily and without going to court.
Posted @ Friday, August 02, 2013 1:08 AM by Reno-dui-attorney.com
Legal separation is not at all easy for anyone. Many things need to get considered so its better to take help of lawyer.
Posted @ Monday, August 05, 2013 2:26 AM by Drug Attorneys Carson
I just switched jobs. I have been separated from my spouse for 17 months. I was told by her that I would not need to provide her with insurance. I am not very comfortable with this, and want to know if I am legally bound to provide her with insurance. If not, what steps do I need to take to be sure this is not going to blow up in my face?
Posted @ Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:38 AM by Ron
Really i appreciate the effort you made to share the knowledge.The topic here i found was really effective to the topic which i was researching for a long time.
Posted @ Thursday, September 12, 2013 7:24 AM by Litigation Attorney Texas
Great. I am glad you found the article helpful. Education is the key to our clients making sound and sensible decisions.
Posted @ Thursday, September 12, 2013 8:00 AM by Crispino Pastore
If my husband and I are seperating and he has just received a substantial settlement from a disability claim..he has offered me half of that settlement. How can i secure that? Is just writing that down in a seperation agreement enough to protect me and to secure that he will indeed pay me half?
Posted @ Sunday, September 15, 2013 5:56 AM by Anon
If you and your husband are separating in PA, since there is no legal separation in PA, you would need to contract privately with your husband for your separation. Part of that private contract (i.e., a separation agreement) could include a provision that your husband will be splitting equally with you the proceeds of his disability settlement. Without something in writing legally binding him to split it with you, he could take the position at any point down the line that you are not entitled to any of it. Proceed with caution.
Posted @ Sunday, September 15, 2013 6:53 PM by Crispino Pastore
now of course I do agree with what you just said... I also do agree with you with this. 
" I am always amazed at the number of clients who ask me how they can get a "legal separation" in Pennsylvania." 
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Posted @ Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:42 AM by Disputed Wills
Thank you really for helping me by answering my few problems whose solutions I was looking for such a long time.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 23, 2013 5:04 AM by Protection While Snowboarding
I want out of my marriage because he has been cheating & spending time & money with this other woman & has neglected me & our 4 kids. He has not been paying bills or even buying the things for the kids like he should & on top of that he has left me & our kids for some weekends & will leave me with no money or anything while he is out have a night out on the town with this girl . We own our home but his name is on the house not mine . I have been a stay @ home mom for years & now that I have a part time job I just need advice on what to do or what is the best way to go . I don't want this to be nasty I want to be Fair . I want to ask for support for me & Child support . What do I do in my case ??? I'm @ the end of my rope & don't know what to do or my first step. Please Help !!
Posted @ Saturday, November 23, 2013 1:07 PM by Tamika N.
An experienced divorce mediator will help for child custody between separating or divorcing couples in a very efficient manner.
Posted @ Monday, December 02, 2013 4:43 AM by Lake Tahoe DUI Lawyer
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Posted @ Saturday, December 14, 2013 6:13 AM by rose
i have been seperated for 13 months and if there is no such thing as legal seperation and if she can continue any gains in the marital assets while seperated is she responsible for any debts incurred by me while seperated?
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