Divorce is a difficult process, and the laws surrounding it can be complex. In Pennsylvania, the law requires a 90-day waiting period after filing for divorce before it can be finalized. This article will explain what happens after the 90-day waiting period has elapsed and how to proceed with a divorce in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, there are three categories of divorce: divorce by mutual consent, without consent, and fault.
Divorce by mutual consent is the quickest and easiest path when both spouses agree to dissolve their marriage. To file for this type of no-fault divorce, both spouses must file an affidavit that states they agree to dissolve their marriage and that the marriage is irretrievably broken. After filing, there is a 90-day waiting period before the parties can file their affidavits of consent. During this time, divorce lawyers can help couples reach a resolution so that they are ready to have their judgment entered once the cooling-off period has expired.
In a divorce without consent, one spouse files a complaint that states why they should get a divorce from their spouse. The plaintiff must provide the court with a specific reason for their divorce, such as adultery, mental cruelty, or physical abuse. 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. In a fault divorce, one spouse must prove that the other spouse is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage.
The law allows divorce when one of the spouses has suffered a mental problem and has been in a psychiatric institution for at least eighteen months prior to the start of the divorce proceedings; and is likely to remain in the institution for another 18 months after the start of the proceedings. Once the 90-day waiting period ends, you can file final forms and request a divorce decree stating that you are officially divorced. If both parties have no problem of division of property or alimony, they can file appropriate documentation to allow the judge to grant a divorce without a court hearing. Before filing for divorce in Pennsylvania, consider if you have any financial or child problems that may need resolution, and whether you are both amicable enough to mediate your divorce.
Learn about PA divorce law and options from reputable sources so you can make an informed decision about your situation.