A broken relationship often ends when a spouse suddenly leaves a couple’s shared marital residence. If you and your spouse then both agree to dissolve the marriage, you may file a no-fault divorce, which may take 90 days to complete.
When you and your spouse have lived apart for at least two years, either spouse may file for a no-fault divorce, as noted by SmartAsset. The time spent living apart, however, may have a significant effect on your finances.
Equitable distribution laws and your future financial circumstances
All of the cash, assets and property you acquired during your marriage legally belongs to both spouses. Under Pennsylvania’s equitable distribution laws, your assets must divide fairly between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Before selling property to generate cash to support yourself and your children, you may need to discuss a fair division of the sale proceeds with your spouse. Maintaining a record of the items sold and any arrangements you made with your spouse in splitting the proceeds may show the court that the cash legally and equitably belongs to you.
Shared credit card debts may affect your single-income finances
Debts generated through a joint credit card account generally become the responsibility of both parties. As noted by U.S. News and World Report, closing joint accounts may prevent you from taking on any liability for the credit card debt your spouse incurs after leaving.
Just as property requires fair division, Pennsylvania’s divorce laws mandate couples to also divide their jointly held debts fairly. Depending on the number of assets owned and the debts your shared household accumulated, a divorce may require you to negotiate a reasonable settlement that works within your new single-income household.