Equitable Distribution

For example, the date of separation is important to properly value assets owned jointly or individually by the parties. In fact, spouses can be separated while still living in the same house, possibly even in the same bedroom. The key factor to consider is when did the spouses stop behaving like a married couple.

Separated But Not Divorced: Should You Date Him?

In all cases, if one party decides to file a divorce complaint, that is the latest date that a court will consider the parties to have separated. Mackey , A. The single most important factor is determining when a couple ceases to act as husband and wife. Sinha , A.

Adultery in Pennsylvania: Does Cheating Affect Alimony?

Therefore, separation can occur when one spouse leaves the marital residence with no intention of returning or when one spouse clearly communicates to the other their intention to end the marriage. Frey v Frey , A. Property acquired by gift, except between spouses, bequest, devise or descent or property acquired in exchange for marital assets. Property acquired after final separation until the date of divorce, except for property acquired in exchange for marital assets.

Property which a party has sold, granted, conveyed or otherwise disposed of in good faith and for value prior to the date of final separation.

Adultery in Pennsylvania: Does Cheating Affect Alimony? | DivorceNet

Property to the extent to which the property has been mortgaged or otherwise encumbered in good faith for value prior to the date of final separation. Any payment received as a result of an award or settlement for any cause of action or claim which accrued prior to the marriage or after the date of final separation regardless of when the payment was received. A basic checklist of identifying marital property includes the following: During a marriage, particularly a long marriage, one spouse may become financially dependent on the other.

Alimony is not automatically awarded to a financially dependent spouse under Pennsylvania law; it is only awarded when necessary. In determining whether alimony is necessary, Pennsylvania courts consider many factors, including:. Alimony in Pennsylvania may be "periodic," that is, payments made on a monthly or annual basis, or alimony may be lump-sum, which is usually a one-time payment.


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Periodic alimony payments typically end when either spouse dies or the supported spouse gets remarried. Courts may also award alimony for a specific period of time, such as a number of years, months, or until the supported spouse gains employment.

Learn whether an extramarital affair can impact spousal support in Pennsylvania.

For more details on alimony in Pennsylvania, read Understanding and Calculating Alimony in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, a spouse that commits adultery that leads to divorce is not eligible to receive alimony.


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  • First, you will have to prove the adultery with convincing evidence. Circumstantial evidence, such as hotel receipts, phone records, emails, texts, photos and videos may be sufficient to prove adultery; you do not have to prove actual sexual contact.

    Second, you will have to prove that the adultery caused the divorce. If you forgave your spouse for cheating and then later filed for divorce, the court may decide the adultery was not the cause of the divorce.

    What Role Does Adultery Play in a Pennsylvania Divorce?

    Third, you must have "clean hands" - this means you cannot have committed adultery yourself if you're going to argue that your cheating spouse should be barred from receiving alimony. There may be other defenses to adultery that an unfaithful spouse may use to remain eligible for alimony.

    For example, a cheating spouse may claim to have been insane during the time of the adultery.