If you are planning on getting a divorce in Pennsylvania, the date of separation will be important for more reasons than one. The date of separation is not black and white and it is NOT the same for every couple. Sometimes, it’s easy to determine; for example, it’s the day the husband moved out of the house, but it’s not always that simple.
For instance, a husband could have moved out and onto his best friend’s couch, or back home with his parents, but if he’s been going back to his wife and having sexual relations and the couple have continued going to dinner or bars together with friends, the courts may not see this as a legitimate separation.
In the example above, suppose the husband has been staying someplace else for six months and one day, his wife says, “We cannot be intimate anymore,” and they stop going on friendly “dates” with their mutual friends, then that may be the actual date of separation. In other words, they need to stop “acting” like a married couple by doing things together that couples do, such as going on dates and being intimate.
Sometimes, a couple can be considered separate and apart even when they live under the same roof. This can happen when the couple has not been having sexual relations for a long time, when they’ve been sleeping in different bedrooms, and when they have stopped sharing meals together.
Why the Separation Date Matters
Why does the separation date matter so much in a Pennsylvania divorce? For one, under Pennsylvania law the separation date commences the one-year waiting period to obtain a no-fault divorce. Second, that’s the date that the assets (or debts) acquired by the spouses are no longer marital and subject to division.
If you want to get divorced sooner than later, it’s important to start living “separate and apart” as soon as possible. Because, once that happens the clock starts ticking on your divorce. Until then, you’re at a standstill.
At Cairns Law Offices, clients can obtain a divorce for just $219 in as little as 30 days when they’ve been living separate and apart for at least one year. If you’d like to learn more, contact our firm today!