There is much misinformation with regard to this topic. Separated spouses are not automatically divorced after living separate and apart for a year. In fact, there is no divorce circumstance in Pennsylvania where a marriage is automatically terminated after the passage of a period of time.

The one year separation period, however, is important. After spouses have been separated for a year, one spouse may ask the Court to grant their divorce. If the other spouse does not object or does not notify the Court that there are economic issues that need to be resolved (including but not limited to issues related to property distribution or support for a dependent spouse), the Court can grant the divorce decree.

Spouses who both agree that their marriage is irretrievably broken and consent to the entry of a divorce decree can be divorced more quickly. Pennsylvania allows for the entry of a divorce decree after 90 days have passed from the date the Defendant in the divorce action was served with the divorce complaint. Much like with the “separation divorce”, this only happens when there are no economic issues that require resolution by the parties. 

Please contact the Mulligan Law Firm to discuss all of your family law needs.