Generally speaking, when couples decide to get a divorce, they’re going to stop living together. Technically, they are still married, but this is the date of separation.
It is important to note that under Pennsylvania law, the date of separation can happen even when people live in the same residence. The law refers to the “cessation of cohabitation.” This is just the understanding that two people may not technically have separate places to live, but their relationship has already ended at that point.
If you find yourself in this position, you may be wondering about the different ways that it could impact your upcoming divorce.
Dividing your assets
One of the most important things to know about the date of separation is that you may purchase assets after that point. If you do, you may claim that they shouldn’t count as marital assets. Generally speaking, everything that you buy when you’re married is technically a marital asset, and the same goes for your spouse. But, if you’re already separated, and you’re not living together anymore, you don’t want the assets to fall into that category just because the divorce takes a few months.
As such, it’s a good idea to record when the two of you stopped living together, what you owned at that point and any assets that you may have added after that. Recordkeeping can be very important to show which assets actually need to be divided and which ones should stay with the individuals who purchased them.
If this process does get complicated or contentious, be sure you know about all of your legal options.