Only one of the 50 states refuses to allow some form of no-fault divorce. In a recent editorial, the New York Times lambasted that state’s legislature for failing to enact no-fault divorce, stating that current law makes “divorces costlier, longer, and uglier than they need to be.”
In contrast, Pennsylvania has had no-fault divorce since 1980. Even so, there are still couples who choose so-called fault divorces. In those cases, one party has to prove to the court that the other engaged in either adultery, extreme cruelty, bigamy, has been sentenced to at least two years in prison, suffers from “insanity” or has “imposed such indignities on the innocent spouse as to render that spouse’s condition intolerable and life burdensome.” Any of these grounds can be costly and frequently difficult to prove in court. More importantly, the process of gathering and submitting proof can often be embarrassing and painful for everyone — especially for any children of the parties.
What Is A No-Fault Divorce?
No-fault divorce has much lower hurdles for the parties to overcome than in a “fault divorce.” A court grants a no-fault divorce when both parties agree the marriage is irretrievably broken, after a 90 day waiting period and the filing of an affidavit by each spouse stating that each consents to the divorce. If the two parties have been living separately for at least two years, that waiting period is reduced to about three weeks.
Fastest, Least Expensive, Least Painful Form Of No-Fault
Legal experts agree that a simple, uncontested no-fault divorce is the most efficient, least expensive, least stressful form of divorce in Pennsylvania. In these divorces, the couples agree, or have previously agreed, on the following:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Property division, including real estate and finances
Instead of judges deciding who gets custody of children and how much child support the non-custodial parent will pay and so on, couples keep control of their lives and finances in a no-fault divorce. In New York, such decisions are too often unnecessarily fought out in court; but in Pennsylvania, couples themselves make the important divorce decisions that will affect the rest of their and their children’s lives.
Beginning The Process
If you face divorce, contact a Pennsylvania no-fault divorce lawyer who can help you get through a difficult time in life without adding unneeded stress and costs.
Same-Sex Divorce In Pennsylvania
As you may know, Pennsylvania now recognizes and allows same-sex marriage. Accordingly, the Court has advised that a divorce can be granted to a same-sex couple married in Pennsylvania or in any other jurisdiction, state or country where the marriage was legal at the time of the ceremony.