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Pennsylvania Legal Separation
Legal Separation in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, there is no legal separation that married couples file, but they can have a private agreement. This private separation agreement serves the same function as a legal separation in other states; however, there is no law in Pennsylvania that formally acknowledges a legal separation through the courts.

The separation agreement defines the terms and conditions of child custody, visitation, alimony, division of property, joint accounts, bills, loans, and insurance are set forth. Failure to comply with the terms is breach of contract, and a party can be sued. The spouses can still live under the same roof under this agreement, and this does not affect its terms.

In short, in Pennsylvania someone is married or divorced. However, the separation agreement can become the basis of a divorce later on, and can solve disputes that come with a divorce, without having to actually have a divorce. It protects both parties because each understands in advance the important issues that come with a divorce. It can also be used to get a divorce easily because all the important - and difficult - questions are answered. It can be a way for couples to slow down a marriage, and possibly stay together before going through with a divorce. It can also be changed or annulled very easily because it is a private contract. Legal separations answer the desires of couples seeking independence while wanting to stay married for a variety of reasons. The separation can always be annulled or converted to a divorce if the couple decides to legally end their marriage.

Separation Agreement

A separation agreement is a legal binding contract signed by spouses, which is intended to resolve property, debt and child related issues. This can be a very complex and detailed document depending upon the unique situation of the marriage. Many spouses consult an attorney to provide this or they decide to prepare their own.


No complaint is filed.


The agreement may be made on reasonable terms.


There is no residency requirement for legal separation in Pennsylvania

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