Divorce is a difficult process, and it can be even more challenging if you're trying to expedite it. In Pennsylvania, the law requires a 20-day waiting period for this type of divorce, but there are certain exemptions that can help you get divorced much faster. To understand the process and how to speed it up, it's important to know the different types of divorce available in Pennsylvania, the costs associated with filing for divorce, and the steps you need to take to get a divorce quickly. In Pennsylvania, you have the option to file for a no-fault divorce or a fault-based divorce by proving one of the following grounds (reasons).
A no-fault divorce is when both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and they don't need to prove any fault. A fault-based divorce requires one party to prove that the other party is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. The hearing would be before a “Master of Divorce” who is just an attorney appointed to hear testimony and then recommend that the court grant the divorce. When representing yourself, the basic expense of an uncontested divorce will be the court fee for filing divorce papers.
It's important to note that the Davis Divorce Act does not sell divorce kits or DIY (do it yourself) divorce instructions. If you are planning to file for divorce, you may wonder how long the divorce process will take and what is the quickest way to get a divorce. If your divorce is uncontested, meaning both parties agree on all terms, then you can speed up the process by filing for a no-fault divorce. This is because many couples can go through the divorce process uncontested without hiring lawyers to represent them, resulting in huge savings on the normal cost of divorce.
Online divorce services will generally help you create a settlement agreement as well, with some taking care of filing divorce papers, for an additional fee. If your divorce is contested, which means that the spouses cannot accept the terms of the divorce (or divorce at all), then you'll need to take additional steps. While it may seem like agreeing on the terms of your divorce can take a long time, you can speed up the process if you have a marriage agreement that already outlines these terms or consider divorce mediation, which involves working with a neutral third party to reach an agreement. Regardless of whether you and your spouse agree to get a divorce, talking to a divorce lawyer is very helpful.
To keep things simple, you can instead file for divorce online using a service that will fill out the right no-contest divorce forms for you, based on your answers to a questionnaire. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania has a legal glossary that you may find useful if you decide to obtain a divorce, as well as information on how to represent yourself in a divorce. When you are representing yourself in the divorce, you will also need to include the self-represented party's appearance registration form, which informs the court that you do not have an attorney to represent you in the divorce. To get a divorce in Pennsylvania, at least one spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months immediately before filing divorce papers.