It is always advisable to consult with a family law attorney to learn what your rights and responsibilities are before you make a major life change, such as filing for divorce. Pennsylvania allows for both fault and no
In a no fault divorce, the parties have mutually decided to separate and the cause of divorce is not attributed to either party. Most people choose this option as it is the quickest and easiest option. There are two types of no fault divorce. In a mutual consent divorce, both parties agree to divorce. The divorce consent cannot be filed until a divorce action has been pending for ninety days. The other type of no fault divorce is a two year separation divorce. If the parties have been living separately for at least two years, one party can secure a divorce without the other party's consent. For purposes of the two year separation, the parties can be living in the same house but still living separate and apart.
A fault divorce can be granted on the grounds of adultery, desertion, abusive treatment, bigamy, imprisonment of one spouse for more than two years, and other indignities. However, these allegations must be proved in court and a judge must decide to grant the fault divorce. Fault based divorce is less common in Pennsylvania, as it is usually unnecessary and can be drawn out, expensive, and painful for all parties concerned.
A mutually agreed upon no-fault divorce generally takes between 3 and 5 months from the filing of the initial divorce complaint to the issuance of a divorce decree. All divorces must wait a 90 day "cooling off" period after the divorce complaint is filed before further action can be taken.
Contested divorces vary in the amount of time they take to resolve and last much longer than non-contested divorces. If one party refuses to agree to the divorce, the other party must wait for a separation period of two years to pass before grounds for divorce are satisfied.
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