Legally ending a marriage can be pretty confusing, especially for those who have never been divorced or know little about the family law. Below, one can find some useful info on the issue.
Types of Divorce in Pennsylvania
When spouses believe that their relationship is irretrievably broken and thus reconciliation is impossible, this is enough of a reason to untie the knot. If they are willing to go their separate ways as soon as possible and want to simplify the process by coming to a full agreement, they can have an easy and fast no-fault divorce by mutual consent.
If spouses cannot have the latter one simply because someone refuses to agree to end a marriage, a no-fault case can still be initiated. However, partners need to be considered separated for at least 1 year before the court can fulfill the request of one of them to get a marriage dissolved.
Under the divorce laws in PA, if one party is not willing to end a marriage, and spouses haven’t been separated for the required period, it is still possible to untie the knot, but, for this, a person who files for a marriage dissolution must prove that his or her partner is at fault for the breakdown of a marital union.
There are many grounds for divorce in PA. The main fault ones are:
• Cheating on a spouse.
• Getting married to another person.
• Abandonment for at least a year.
• Causing an injury of another spouse or treating the injured spouse cruelly.
Who Can Start a Pennsylvania Divorce Procedure?
There are a few requirements that one must meet to initiate a divorce process in PA. First of all, to get started, one of two spouses must be a Pennsylvanian resident for at least half a year. If neither of you did, you will have to wait before initiating a divorce in the state or check if you meet the residency requirements elsewhere.
What Type of Court Handles Divorces in the State?
You can file in The Court of Common Pleas, which considers family law cases, in the county where:
- A plaintiff resides, if his or her soon-to-be ex-spouse is not a resident of the state.
- A defendant resides.
- Both parties lived in during their marriage.
- A plaintiff resides, if the spouses have not yet been separated for half a year and a defendant doesn’t mind, or where one of the sides resides if neither live in the county where they resided together.
- One of the parties resides, if they have been separated for at least half a year.
How to File for Divorce in Pennsylvania?
Once the residency requirements are met and spouses understand which type of marriage dissolution they are going for, it is time to think about how to get a divorce in PA. To initiate the process, one is supposed to submit the Notice to Defend and Divorce Complaint, along with the Affidavit of Non-Military Service and a few other forms. You will have to make a few copies of each paper before filing it and pay the court fees.
The types documents you will have to file initially will depend on whether you have children, ask to restore your maiden name, want to waive the court fees, and various other factors. Once the clerk accepts your paperwork, it will have to be served on your spouse within 30 days after you file, and the Affidavit your ex signs will also have to be submitted to court. The marriage dissolution will be granted after the 90-day waiting period is over and you file all the other necessary forms.
While some hire an expert to prepare their documents and file them with the court for them, others prefer to go without outside help. If you don’t feel like paying thousands in attorney’s fees but don’t know how to file for divorce in PA without an attorney, our company is ready to help. Here, you can get all the needed PA divorce forms filled out specifically for your case in a few easy steps. For $139, you will receive a full packet of documents that will come with free detailed instructions on how to submit them with the court yourself easily.