People often call my Philadelphia law office and tell me they want a legal separation. Pennsylvania doesn’t recognize the status of legal separation: you are either married or you are not. However, you and your spouse can have a separation agreement. In our state, two people can be separated even if they still reside in the same household. Date of separation can have a dramatic impact on the valuation of marital assets in certain circumstances.
I’m Lee A. Schwartz, a family law attorney in Philadelphia. I often draft separation agreements before clients go through the divorce process. Sit down with me to discuss your rights and obligations if you are contemplating separation or if your spouse has separated from you.
While separation has no legal status, a separation agreement can determine how much spousal support and child support you must pay or are entitled to receive. A separation agreement can also address child custody and child custody schedules.
The question of date of your separation can be very fact-specific. The only way to decide if you are separated and when you were separated is to sit down with a good family lawyer who has litigated the issue in a family law court. I have litigated the issue of separation a number of times in various Pennsylvania counties.
During a separation, a spouse will sometimes use a child as a weapon against the other party and either permit or not permit custodial visits at his or her whim. If you are being deprived of custodial visits during your separation, I can help you obtain a child custody order signed by a Judge that lays out specific dates and times for visits.
For more information or to discuss your separation case, contact me, attorney Lee A. Schwartz.