Is there a timeframe for being separated before you are considered legally divorced?

UPDATED: Nov 30, 2011

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Is there a timeframe for being separated before you are considered legally divorced?

I have been separated from my wife for 5 years. I do not know where she is or how to contact her. Is there a time frame that I would automatically be divorced. If not how would I proceed with getting a divorce. We have been separated longer then we were together.

Asked on November 30, 2011 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


David Lee / Law Offices of David Lee

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, you would have to file a new petition for dissolution of marriage.  Your legal seperation does not automatically turn into a divorce after any amount of time.  If you do not know her wherabouts, you would need to provide notice of your petition by publication.  You should contact an experienced divorce attorney to begin the process.


For more information on Divorce, visit my website at:

David Lee

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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