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Is it hard to get a divorce in Pennsylvania?

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2024 | Divorce |

Deciding to divorce your spouse is challenging enough as it is, and initiating the process might seem overwhelming to you. After all, each state has its own set of laws and requirements for divorce, and Pennsylvania is no exception. You may wonder if filing for divorce and going through the entire process is difficult or easy. The answer is that it can be both.

Pennsylvania is a no-fault divorce state. Therefore, it is not necessary to prove someone is to blame for the failure of the marriage. Instead, you must simply state that your marriage has broken down and that there is no hope of reconciliation. If your spouse agrees to the divorce and you can collaborate on the terms of your settlement agreement, this makes the process easier, more efficient and more amicable.

How to pursue a no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has three grounds for no-fault divorces, but the most common and quickest is the mutual consent of both parties. The judge will wait 90 days after you file for divorce to grant it, and there will be no court hearing. To pursue a no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania, you or your spouse must have lived in Pennsylvania for at least six months before filing for divorce. Here is a basic outline of the steps:

  • File a divorce complaint: You will need to file a divorce complaint with the court, stating that your marriage has broken down and that there is no hope of reconciliation. You will also need to provide information about your marriage.
  • Serve your spouse: You will need a neutral adult to serve your spouse with the divorce complaint, and you must have proof of the service.
  • Wait for your spouse’s response: Your spouse will have 30 days to respond to the divorce complaint, so you must wait for their response first. If they refuse to respond, you can continue the divorce without them. If they do respond, you will need to negotiate a settlement or go to trial.
  • Negotiate a settlement or go to trial: If your spouse responds to the divorce complaint, you will need to negotiate a settlement or go to trial. If you cannot settle on the terms of your divorce arrangement, you may need the court to intervene. Once the court is involved, it becomes a contested divorce, significantly prolonging the proceedings.

No-fault divorce is typically faster than fault-based divorce, as you do not have to spend time and money proving your spouse’s wrongdoing. It could be even quicker if it can proceed as an uncontested divorce.

By understanding the process and your options, you can move forward confidently. Worry less about the legal process and focus on your own healing.