Some states, such as California allow married couples to get legally separated
as an alternative to divorce. In California for example, a married couple
can get legally separated to give themselves time to see if they want a
divorce, or if they don’t believe in divorce, they can get legally separated
instead and remain that way indefinitely.
In the meantime, the California family courts can issue orders regarding
child custody, child support,
asset and debt division, and
spousal support. So, can Pennsylvania couples get legally separated like couples in places
No Legal Separation in Pennsylvania
Unlike California and other states that have laws on the books about legal
separation, Pennsylvania does not allow for legal separations. In Pennsylvania,
if you’re “separated” from your spouse,
it means the two of you are living separate and apart, whether you’re
living in two households or even under the same roof (under some circumstances).
Separation between married spouses can occur when:
- The couple mutually agrees to get a divorce.
- One spouse kicks the other spouse out of the house.
- One spouse voluntarily moves out of the house.
Divorce Requirements in Pennsylvania
In order to get a divorce in Pennsylvania, you have to meet certain requirements.
For starters, you must meet the residency requirement. To meet the residency
requirement, you or your spouse, or both of you, must have lived here
for six months before you can file for divorce.
Second, you must be “separated” for
one yearbefore you can file for divorce. If you are still living together, this
can get a bit tricky, especially if you’re
still having marital relations and sleeping in the same bed. While it’s best for the spouses to
be living in separate households, if that’s not convenient, we advise
sleeping in separate bedrooms and living separate lives – no date
nights and no more dinners with friends “as a couple.”
Once you break up and decide to get a no-fault divorce, you want to make
sure that you are no longer behaving as a married couple, otherwise it
could delay your divorce proceedings and derail the one-year waiting period
imposed by the courts.
Why is the Date of Separation Important?
To learn more about the
separation requirements for divorce in Pennsylvania and our
contact Cairns Law Offices today!