Frequently Asked Questions About Legal Separation In Media
Sometimes, people are unhappy in their marriage but they are still unsure of whether they want to get a divorce. A couple may wonder if they can still work out their differences, or people may want to remain married for other reasons, such as for religious reasons. Unlike the majority of states throughout the country, Pennsylvania law does not recognize legal separations. If you live in the Commonwealth and are considering separation, you likely have many questions. Below, our Media divorce lawyer answers them.
What is the Difference Between Legally Separating and Divorce?
When a couple formally dissolves their marriage, or gets a divorce, they are no longer considered legally married. During the divorce process, the couple will resolve many issues including those regarding property division, child support, and child custody. If you obtain a legal separation, you will also have to address these issues but you are still legally considered to be married. You also do not have the same rights if you separate instead of getting a divorce. For example, you cannot remarry while you are legally separated.
Are There Benefits to Legally Separating?
There are many reasons people choose to separate rather than get a divorce. Sometimes, people just want to experience life on their own and determine if they would be better off as single. In other instances, remaining legally married is beneficial even though the two spouses want to live separate and apart from each other. For example, sometimes people remain married so a spouse can remain on the other’s health insurance plan.
Can You Date if You are Legally Separated?
Contrary to what many people think, you can date while you are separated in Pennsylvania. However, you must make sure you do not date anyone new until your legal separation is final and a separation agreement has been drafted and signed. If you date before this time, it can be considered adultery. If your spouse decides to move forward with a fault-based divorce based on the affair, it could hurt your case.
How to Obtain a Separation in Pennsylvania?
Again, no family law judge can grant a legal separation because the law does not provide a distinction between married and separated couples. However, there are times when a couple can live separate and apart for one year. For example, if one spouse does not agree to the divorce and the other party can prove they have lived separately and apart for one year, that can serve as a separation.
Sometimes, people only want to separate for a matter of weeks or months. If you want to separate for longer, though, you should draft a separation agreement that can address issues such as child custody and property division.
Our Divorce Lawyer in Media Can Draft Your Agreement
If you are thinking about separating or divorcing your spouse, you need sound legal advice. At Barbara Flum Stein & Associates, our Media divorce lawyer can provide it and make sure your rights are protected. Call or text us now at 610-565-6100 or chat with us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.