Which Type of Pennsylvania No-Fault Divorce is Right for You?
Couples often go through many agonizing and drawn-out conversations before officially deciding to divorce. Some spend a significant amount of time apart while remaining married until they are ready to end their partnership legally. When the time comes, Pennsylvania’s no-fault divorce statute can be especially helpful. In a no-fault divorce, neither spouse has to allege wrongdoing in the marriage. Rather, both parties can recognize that the marriage is over and that they are ready to go their separate ways.
Pennsylvania offers two ways to obtain a no-fault divorce: by “mutual consent” or “irretrievable breakdown.” The type of divorce that is right for you will depend on your relationship and circumstances of your breakup.
Mutual consent is where both spouses agree that they no longer want to be married. Each must file a signed affidavit stating that they consent to the divorce. A 90-day waiting period is required between filing and when the divorce is finalized. In the initial court filing, it must be stated that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Mutual consent divorce is a great option for couples who are able to get along well enough to communicate and work together toward a common goal. The process is relatively straightforward and inexpensive.
Irretrievable breakdown is a no-fault ground that is suited to the situation when only one party believes the marriage is completely over. If a couple has lived separate and apart for at least one year, one spouse can file for divorce, asserting that the marriage is irretrievably broken. If the other spouse contests, a hearing must be held and the court must find that the separation time and irretrievable breakdown requirements have been met. If the court believes there is a “reasonable prospect” of reconciliation, the court may require counseling for a period of 90 to 120 days. If at the end of this time period one spouse still believes that the marriage is irretrievably broken and the court agrees, the court can grant a divorce.
The family law attorneys at The Law Offices of Jennifer Courtney & Associates, P.C. in Yardley, Pennsylvania are committed to helping clients get through the difficult aspects of divorce and move on with their lives. We pride ourselves on providing communicative and reliable legal support for divorcing spouses in Bucks County and the surrounding areas. If you need help with a Pennsylvania no-fault divorce, call us at 215.493.3360 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.