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The Difference between Divorce and Legal Separation in Delaware County and Throughout Pennsylvania

Many married couples experience such significant conflicts that they know their marriages must end. However, others may feel they can potentially resolve their conflicts by spending some time apart while they undergo counseling to work through their issues. In the early days of a marriage, couples can simply take up different residences to separate. However, when they have children or face other complex issues, they need to create a legal agreement that protects their rights while they work through their issues.

Understanding the legal issues of separation in Pennsylvania

As explained by the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Pennsylvania law does not strictly provide for legal separation. However, you can enter into legal separation in Pennsylvania by creating a Separation and Property Settlement Agreement, which is a legally binding contract recognized by the courts, which establishes the terms of the separation:

  • Division of property
  • Custody, support and visitation of children
  • The need for spousal support during the separation period

This agreement establishes temporary conditions to cover the period of separation. In the event of a later divorce, the terms and conditions of a final divorce decree override the provisions of the Separation and Property Settlement Agreement.

Separation agreements can simplify the divorce process

Of course, most couples seeking a separation hope to work through their issues to build a stronger marriage. However, those who cannot resolve their conflicts often find that a separation agreement provides a building block that enables them to work through the divorce process more easily and with less stress.

Having experienced the terms of the separation agreement, most individuals want to make adjustments when entering into negotiations for a divorce settlement — particularly issues related to the children. The initial separation agreement often provides an excellent starting point for negotiation. And having gone through a previous negotiation process, both parties more clearly understand how to approach their differences more objectively, with an eye to their new futures.

Contact an experienced Delaware County divorce attorney to help you choose between legal separation and divorce

For many couples experiencing marital conflict, a temporary separation provides the space needed to resolve their issues and build stronger family relationships. And even if the marriage eventually ends in divorce, both parties can find it easier to negotiate a fair settlement. The attorneys at DiOrio & Sereni, LLP have decades of experience providing valuable legal insight to guide you through the vital decisions that affect the lives of your family. Call our Media, Pennsylvania office for a consultation.

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The National Trial Lawyers

The Law Firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP, is located in Media, PA and serves clients in and around Media, Glen Riddle Lima, Brookhaven, Wallingford, Newtown Square, Lenni, Springfield, Swarthmore, Chester, Aston, Bryn Mawr, Morton, Woodlyn, Broomall, Gradyville, Folsom, Chester Heights, Crum Lynne, Glen Mills, Marcus Hook, Ridley Park, Drexel Hill, Marple, Bethel, Garnet Valley, Chadds Ford Concord, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County.


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