Is Legal Separation Required Before Divorce in Pennsylvania?

If you are about to begin a divorce, you may have received advice from friends and relatives in other states to obtain a legal separation. You may also have heard that Pennsylvania is one of six states that does not recognize legal separation.

However, while legal separation is not an option, taking steps to protect yourself during separation is essential. How we can make their separation date have legal significance is important.

At the Law Offices of Lawrence Pauker in Norristown, we can establish a separation date or agreement that protects you during the period of time you are separated from your divorcing spouse. In addition, if you move forward with a divorce, many of the important decisions will already have been made.

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While the concept of "legal separation" does not apply in Pennsylvania, "separation" certainly does. Montgomery County attorney Lawrence Pauker can prepare a separation agreement that provides stipulations for items such as:

  • Property division: During the time of separation, property division may refer to specific personal possessions such as vehicles, furniture and household items more so than bank accounts, pension plans and investments.
  • Child support: Support for the children can be established at this time. The needs of your children are of utmost importance.
  • Alimony: A dependent spouse can receive temporary support during this time.
  • Child custody and visitation: The separation agreement can establish a temporary arrangement that allows both parents to spend time with the children. It can establish the primary custodial parent and a visitation schedule.

Decisions made in a separation agreement can be a guide during the divorce process — either because they have worked well or because the separation exposed areas of conflict. The final divorce decree may contain elements that were established in the separation agreement, or it may represent an improved arrangement based on your experience with the separation agreement.

Contact Us Now to Discuss Your Situation

The Law Offices of Lawrence Pauker provides experienced legal help to people who are separated or will soon be separated from their spouse. Contact us today to arrange your initial consultation. We are open during weekly business hours and offer evening and weekend consultations by appointment in Norristown and Ambler.