How Long Does a Divorce Take in Pennsylvania?

Divorce in Pennsylvania can be a lengthy process, depending on the type of divorce and the willingness of both parties to agree on the division of marital property and spousal debts, child custody, child support and spousal support. The mandatory waiting period for no-fault dissolution of marriage is 90 days, but the average contested divorce takes 5 to 12 months and an uncontested divorce takes about 4 to 6 months. A divorce by separation requires the consent of only one party and may be the only option available if the other party refuses to accept the divorce or cannot be found. If a divorce is filed for fault, and the defendant proves that the plaintiff is not innocent or injured, or that the facts alleged by the plaintiff are not true, a divorce cannot be granted.

As with alimony, the court must be asked to divide marital assets as part of the divorce lawsuit before the court finally grants the divorce. 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). The three categories of divorce in Pennsylvania are divorce by mutual consent, without consent, and fault. 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 is likely to remain in the institution for at least 18 months after the divorce has been initiated.

You don't have to wait for your divorce petition to be mailed to you, as we will email it to you for confirmation (usually the same day) after you complete The Divorce Wizard and make the payment with your credit card, debit card, or checking account. 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. Under the same law, the court can postpone a divorce for 90 to 120 days if you file for divorce because of an irretrievable breakdown and have not lived separately (or apart) for at least one year. When filing for a fault divorce, you will need to provide the court with a specific reason for your divorce. A person seeking alimony must file for alimony as part of a divorce lawsuit before the court finally grants a divorce.

Prominent PA divorce attorney Lee Schwartz explains that a divorce can be completed in as little as 4 to 6 weeks or it can take years. Factors such as type of divorce chosen and both parties' willingness to agree on division of marital property and spousal debts, child custody, child support and spousal support will determine how long your divorce will take in Pennsylvania. To help move things along faster, it's important to consider seeking custody, alimony, support, spousal property, counseling, and attorney's fees before finalizing your divorce.

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