Family Law Attorney
Legal separation in some states is when married couples are given a legal space away from each other to see if they want to pursue a divorce. Couples who don’t believe in actually getting divorced can be “legally separated” for the remainder of their lives. If this sounds like a good plan to you and you live in the state of Pennsylvania, you might want to take a closer look.
Does Legal Separation Exist in Pennsylvania?
While legal separation exists in other states, it isn’t actually a thing in Pennsylvania. Separating from your spouse tells the state you have plans to get a divorce. Separation might include leaving your matrimonial home with no plans to go back or even writing a letter to your spouse indicating the end of your marital commitment and living in the basement bedroom. In some cases this separation is voluntary on both parts. In other situations, one spouse forces the other to leave or one leaves at the protest of the other.
How Quickly Can Divorce Occur After Separation?
Although legal separation doesn’t exist as other states know it, you do have to be separated for an entire year in Pennsylvania before filing for divorce. During your separation, it’s best if you don’t live with each other and almost essential that you don’t have sexual contact. Any of those actions that are typical among married spouses show that you’re not completely separated and could delay that one year time period. Your lives have to be completely separate, even if you live in the same house.
Should You Contact a Lawyer?
Yes. If you plan to get a divorce, you should contact a lawyer to walk you through the process. Your family lawyer can help you keep deadlines and get the fair division of assets you deserve. Your lawyer can help you determine whether you should continue living in the basement bedroom or if you should move out. If you wonder whether you should attend an event where your spouse will be during your separation, you can go to your lawyer for guidance.
Beginning the Process
If you’re ready to get a divorce and you live in Pennsylvania, it’s best to obtain an attorney right away to learn about your rights and responsibilities. While legal separation isn’t an option in your situation because you are a resident of Pennsylvania, you do need to separate from your spouse for a year, so you should begin that process as well. Contact a family lawyer today to get started.