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Once people decide to divorce, in many instances, they’d like to get it over with as soon as possible. The problem is that getting a quick PA divorce is not always possible or practical.

Money can talk when one wants a quick divorce. Even if you are not separated or have been apart less than a year, a smart lawyer might be able to get your divorce in a few weeks. How? A fault (not no-fault) divorce with a lot of lawyering and luck. Oh, and several thousand dollars and no guarantee. Briefly, this is how it could work: The lawyer is paid (upfront), the divorce is filed today and your spouse is served, also today. Notices of the hearing, if required, are officially waived and the hearing is scheduled at once. Only the filing party goes, with the lawyer, and you tell the Court-appointed Master In Divorce all about your spouse’s impossible-to-live-with actions and behavior while the court reporter gets in all down on paper or electronically. After the hearing – it should take less than 15 minutes – your lawyer pleads with the court reporter to immediately prepare and file the transcript of your testimony (yes, it will be a public record) and settles with the reporter on how much more of your money will be required for such fast service…$100? $200? More?

After the transcript of your testimony is filed, hopefully in several days up to a week or two, your lawyer promptly prepares and files any additional documentation and waits for the clerk to enter it in the record and get it ready for a judge to review. If your lawyer knows the clerk – and the clerk likes the lawyer – that may take only 30-45 minutes while the lawyer, on your dime, checks emails and voice mail messages. The lawyer then runs around to find a judge’s clerk willing and able to review the file and ask the judge to sign your final decree in divorce. You’re almost there… Then the lawyer has to take the file back to the clerk and get everything recorded in the Court’s permanent record – more email and voice mail checking – and your lawyer walks out of the Courthouse with your decree.

Whew! That was a lot of work and while it was only a couple of paragraphs, it would actually take 4-6 weeks to complete, several thousand dollars later, but that’s the only answer for a quick Pennsylvania divorce if you’re separated less than one year (or not at all).

A quick low-cost Pennsylvania divorce? That would have to be a no-fault divorce and if you are separated less than one year, your case must, by law, have a 90 day waiting period right in the middle of it. So, even if your lawyer can shrink the time spent before and after the 90 days (something I offer, incidentally), it would still be 3 months plus that before and after time. But if you have been apart more than one year, well, now we’re talking. The divorce does not have to have a 90 day wait, just having a lawyer who has the experience necessary to quickly prepare the documents, obtain signatures from each of you and get your request for final decree to the judge ASAP. Of course, at that point, everyone must wait a week or two for the judge to get to your file, but just several weeks total time is what could be expected for that type of case.