Separation in Pennsylvania
Our Pittsburgh divorce lawyers can explain issues related to "the date of separation" and clarify misconceptions
about "legal separation" in Pennsylvania. We can explain how separation will impact your divorce case. If you have questions about Separation in Pennsylvania we would be happy to speak to you.
Offices of Scott L. Levine, LLC
425 1st Ave - 6th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
In Pennsylvania there is no formal legal separation, however there are major legal issues
related to the "date of separation." The date of separation can be established by a multitude of factors, but the
primary factor is the affirmative intention of the parties to be living "separate and apart."
Significance of the Date of Separation in Pennsylvania
The date of separation is the date which concludes the period of time during which the value of many assets are considered
part of the marital estate. This can be marked by filing of a Complaint in Divorce, or when one spouse moves out of the marital residence. However, two people can remain living in the same house and still be considered separated
if they hold themselves out as such to friends and family. Also the closing of joint accounts is indicative of the desire
to be “living separate and apart” which is the standard used by the court to determine whether there was an actual
Significance of the Date
Once the date of separation is established it is easier to determine the value of various components of the marital estate, including marital assets
and debts. Typically any increase in value of a premarital asset will be calculated as of the date of separation. Assets
acquired after the date of separation are generally considered non-martial assuming non-marital funds were used for their
purchase. Likewise, debts incurred following the date of separation are most often considered non-marital debts, while debts
incurred prior to the date of separation are generally considered martial debts. Some marital assets, such as a home will
be valued at the time of resolution or trial, while post-separation increases in retirement accounts are generally non-marital.