The decision to separate also does not always result in the immediate filing of a Complaint in Divorce. That party must show that there was “an independent intent on the part of one of the parties to dissolve the marital union…” and that the intent was “clearly manifested and communicated to the other spouse.” Id. In the Mc Coy case, Husband argued that the parties had “physically and emotionally” separated six (6) years prior to the date of the Complaint.It is not uncommon for parties to separate months, if not years, prior to formally filing the Complaint. §3101 defines “separate and apart” as the “complete cessation of any and all cohabitation, whether living in the same residence or not.” Case law has established that there is a presumption in Pennsylvania that the date of separation is the same date as the filing of the Complaint in Divorce, regardless of whether the parties continue to share the same residence (See Mc Coy v. The Court contrarily found that Husband failed to show that there was a manifest or communicated intent to dissolve the marriage prior to the Complaint.For many couples, the decision to separate does not always coincide with a physical separation, such as obtaining separate residences.
For example, if a spouse cheats and then requests alimony as part of a divorce, a judge may reduce or deny alimony because of the misconduct.Wife argued that the date of separation actually occurred after the Complaint was filed, as the parties had made reconciliation attempts subsequent to the filing.Wife testified that after filing the Complaint, the parties saw a marriage counselor, had sexual intercourse, went to the movies and dinner as a family, went on vacations together, and attended their daughter’s school activities and holidays together.is established it is easier to determine the value of various components of the marital estate, including marital assets and debts.Typically any increase in value of a premarital asset will be calculated as of the date of separation.A “no-fault” divorce is based on one ground: the "irretrievable breakdown" of the marriage.In addition, spouses must show a mutual consent to the divorce, meaning that both parties agree to the divorce.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.In Pennsylvania there is no formal legal separation, however there are major legal issues related to the "date of separation." The date of separation can be established by a multitude of factors, but the primary factor is the affirmative intention of the parties to be living "separate and apart."owever, two people can remain living in the same house and still be considered separated if they hold themselves out as such to friends and family.Also the closing of joint accounts is indicative of the desire to be “living separate and apart” which is the standard used by the court to determine whether there was an actual separation.