When you get divorced in PA, the date of your separation is no later than the date that a divorce is filed. It can be earlier but the burden will upon the party seeking an earlier date to establish it with evidence should the other spouse contest it. The date of separation is an important date when it comes to determining what is an asset and what is a debt. Assets and debts accumulated up until the date are marital. This means if you file for divorce or separate you will want to know what the balances are on your debt at that time. It does not matter whose name the debt or asset is in. If your spouse has credit cards, even if you did not know about them during the marriage and they can produce statements showing a credit card balance on the date of separation, it gets included. If you think your retirement is your own, again you will be mistaken. Retirement assets up until the date of separation are marital assets even if they are only in one person's name. There are exceptions on some assets that are passive such as a house where the value is determined as of the date of distribution. Much money and time is spent in a divorce figuring out what the assets and debts are and what the balances are. It is a good idea to keep records, when you marry, when you separate and each month after you separate. It will save much time and much money to stay organized.