In Pennsylvania law, spouses are not required to gain court approval for separation, meaning they can privately contract the division of their estate.
For many couples, they may decide to separate prior to divorcing or, instead of going through a legal divorce. This can be to allow for an adjustment period for the family to settle into new living arrangements, amongst other reasons.
Under Chapter 23, Section 3103 of the Pennsylvania Code, separation begins when you no longer behave as spouses. This can include no longer living together–though this is not required– or can be as simple as you no longer socialize and spend time with one another.
A separation agreement is a legally-bound civil contract between spouses to resolve their personal matters including division of property, debts, custody, and child and spousal support.
Elements of a Separation Agreement
Though not required in full, a separation agreement may include:
- Amount of child support to be paid and how often
- Custody schedule
- Responsibility of bill payments
- Who will remain at the marital residence
- How finances and tax deductions for children will be split
- Health insurance
When creating the separation agreement, you’ll need the experience of a family law attorney to guide you through the process.
Since a legal separation is not required for a divorce to be filed, the process of divorcing your spouse after being separated may take anywhere from months to years depending on your situation.
Let a Scranton Family Lawyer Help You
Our Pennsylvania family law firm is committed to achieving the desired outcome of your case. Attorney Kalinoski knows this is a difficult time for you and your family. That’s why he’ll help you negotiate outside of court before seeking legal action. For more information, contact our Scranton family law firm for a free initial consultation.