It's possible to complete a Pennsylvania divorce without hiring a family law attorney to guide you through the process. For some spouses, this makes financial sense; if they can work together amicably, they may end up saving on unnecessary legal fees. Unfortunately, however, this is not usually the case. The simplest procedure is an uncontested divorce, in which you and your spouse come to an agreement on all issues.
You begin the procedure by filing a Demand for Divorce, along with several supporting documents. For an uncontested divorce, one of these documents will be a marital settlement agreement that describes the division of assets and its agreement with respect to children. These documents are filed with the court and copies of them are provided to your spouse. You'll attend a court hearing, at which point the judge will make sure all your documents are in order, maybe ask you some questions, and enter your Divorce Decree.
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). Under Pennsylvania law, you have the right to represent yourself in all legal cases, including divorce. When you are able to find enough common ground and trust with your spouse during a divorce, you can save a lot of time, money and anxiety. This is some of the key information you need to know about uncontested divorces in Pennsylvania.
You may not have resolved all the issues when you first talk about divorce, but when you both agree on how your divorce should be handled, you've taken a great first step in deciding what you want the outcome to look like. For no-fault and mutual consent (uncontested) divorces, known as divorce 3301c, you will need to complete the following. At some point, you should have one or more conversations with your spouse so that there are no surprises along the way. An uncontested divorce involves a certain degree of trust, and the best way to build trust is to keep the lines of communication open.
If you file the lawsuit, you are known as the plaintiff. You must officially notify your spouse of your intention to divorce by providing court documentation within 30 days of the date it was filed. If the other party does not live in Pennsylvania, the time requirement is extended to 90 days. This gives the spouse the right to challenge parts of the divorce claim if they disagree with what is being said.
When that happens, divorce is no longer indisputable and all the accrued benefits of going a simpler path will disappear. Learn More — What to Say (and What Not to Say) to Your Children in a Divorce Each party may also choose to sign a Notice of Intent or Waiver of Notice. If both parties sign and file a Waiver of Notice, either party can immediately file a Praecipe to Transmit Excord and have the file go to a judge. Depending on the court's backlogs, and if a judge has questions about the documentation that has been filed, it could take four or five months before the courts pass a final judgment.
When both parties consent to divorce in Pennsylvania, the court will review the documentation to ensure that the agreement is fair, but there will be no formal hearing. Fault divorces are not uncontested divorces. They must be filed based on specific reasons as allowed by Pennsylvania law. These include voluntary desertion, adultery, bigamy, or extreme cruelty.
Many people choose to divorce without the services of an attorney. This is especially common in uncontested divorces, where the ability to reach a compromise eliminates the need for an attorney to advocate for a party's position. As long as you meet the state's six-month residency requirement, it doesn't matter where you got married. For more information: everything you need to know about alimony Many states require that a baby be born before a divorce is granted so that parentage and custody issues can be fully resolved.
However, pregnancy is not a relevant factor in Pennsylvania and a divorce can be finalized at any time. Pennsylvania also allows no-fault divorces based on a one-year separation (along with the claim that your marriage is irretrievably broken), but normally you would only use that ground when your spouse disagrees with the divorce. Jason is the managing partner of Divorce Capital Planning, co-founder of Divorce Mortgage Advisors and founder of Survive Divorce. If a plaintiff seeks a no-fault divorce, either by consent or without consent, the defendant can prevent the divorce from being granted by proving that the parties have not lived separate and apart for at least one year or that the marriage has not irretrievably broken down.
Divorce will also be granted when the defendant has been in a psychiatric institution for a serious mental problem for at least 18 months before the divorce is initiated, and will likely remain in the institution for at least 18 months after the divorce has been initiated. 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. By filing a no-fault, undisputed divorce with an agreement that an attorney has reviewed, you can get a quick divorce. A person seeking alimony must file for alimony as part of a divorce lawsuit before the court finally grants a 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. The three categories of divorce in Pennsylvania are divorce by mutual consent, without consent, and fault. 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. To keep things simple, you can instead file for divorce online using a service that fills out the uncontested divorce forms that are right for you, based on your answers to a questionnaire.
The person filing for divorce (the plaintiff) files a lawsuit explaining to the court why they should get a divorce from their spouse (the defendant). In this case, the spouse who wants the divorce (the plaintiff) may have to wait up to a year before requesting that the court enter the judgment to finalize the divorce. To get a no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania, you must state one of two no-fault grounds in the Divorce Complaint. If you are involved in a divorce action, you should consider seeking custody, alimony, support, marital property, counseling and attorney's fees before the divorce is finalized.