Do I need a lawyer for a legal separation under PA law?
Technically, there is no such thing as a “legal separation” in Pennsylvania laws. Separation for legal purposes means that one spouse conveys the intent to the other that he or she no longer desires to remain married. That intent may be conveyed in a number of ways including by filing a divorce complaint, by one spouse vacating the marital residence without an intent to return, or by informing the other spouse of the end of the marriage verbally, in writing, or by actions including cessation of marital relations and inhabiting a separate portion of the marital residence. As stated, in some circumstances parties can be separated while residing in the same household. The date of separation in a marriage impacts what constitutes the marital assets and debts as well as the timing of when a divorce decree can be finalized without the other spouse’s consent.
Our Pennsylvania divorce attorneys can assist you in forming a game plan for your future if you are considering a separation from your spouse. Further, it is far better to have a consultation with our PA family lawyers PRIOR to leaving your marital home or jointly occupied residence than afterwards as important rights may be compromised when you are not informed on the legal ramifications of your decisions. Contact our Pittsburgh family lawyers to negotiate a Marital Separation Agreement for you or inform you about your legal rights and obligations on such topics as child and spousal support as well as child custody.