Divorce in Pennsylvania


Nine and a half percent of the population living in Pennsylvania is divorced, which is the fifth lowest in the nation. Despite the low percentage of divorces, they still occur and it is important to be prepared. An expert PA divorce lawyer can help you achieve the best possible outcome from your divorce. The state laws are always changing and it requires an excellent PA divorce lawyer help to navigate the divorce process in Pennsylvania.

Do I need a lawyer to file for divorce in PA?

There are many myths surrounding divorce and it is beneficial to consult with a PA divorce lawyer to help separate the fact from fiction. It is highly recommended in almost all cases – despite if you and your spouse are amicable or at odds. A PA divorce lawyer can ensure you complete the necessary paperwork correctly and follow all deadlines and rules. It is smart for Pennsylvania residents to hire a PA divorce lawyer for the best possible outcome.

How long do you have to be separated before divorce in PA?

According to PA divorce lawyers, there are two ways to file a divorce in Pennsylvania: fault and no-fault divorce. Typically, PA is considered and characterized as a no-fault state except under rare and extreme circumstances. Under no-fault divorce, there are two main grounds for divorce, mutual consent and irretrievable breakdown. Under irretrievable breakdown, the married couple must be separated for at least one year before they can legally divorce. While we have no formal legal separation in Pennsylvania, separation can be found when the parties are living separate and apart or are no longer holding themselves out as husband and wife. If both parties consent and do not need to wait the requisite year, they can file under mutual consent. Under mutual consent, both parties can execute the necessary paperwork 90 days after service of the complaint. It is very important to hire an experienced PA divorce lawyer to explain all options.

What are the grounds for divorce in PA?

A PA divorce lawyer will explain that you must have grounds for divorce, or a specific reason why you wish to legally divorce your spouse. There are several different reasons for filing a divorce in Pennsylvania, so it is important to hire a PA divorce lawyer to go over the options. As explained in the previous paragraph, there are two main grounds for divorce in PA, fault and no-fault divorce. A type of no-fault divorce is mutual consent which means both parties agree that their marriage is unfixable. 90 days from service of the complait, and assuming all financial issues are resolved, parties can file for divorce. Another type of no-fault divorce is called an irretrievable breakdown divorce. This is similar to a mutual consent divorce but one party does not agree to divorce. Since one person is not interested in divorcing, the couple needs to be separated for one year before the spouse desiring the divorce can forge ahead. While no-fault is by far the more typical path to divorce in Pennsylvania, fault divorce does exist in limited and rare situations. Some examples of grounds for a fault divorce iinclude adultery, dissertation, incarceration, indignities, cruel treatment, and bigamy. If there are any questions or concerns, an experienced PA divorce lawyer will explain all of the options and help choose which grounds for divorce to file.

What are the divorce laws in PA?

PA divorce lawyers know the nuances of the Pennsylvania Domestic Relations Code. There are many different PA state and county laws that are constantly changing. One important requirement is that one party must be a Pennsylvania resident for at least six months before filing for divorce in PA. They also must file for divorce in the county they live.

PA divorce lawyers will explain the laws surrounding marital property. One notable law concerning marital property defines it as only what was acquired post-marriage. Two examples of assets that are not considered marital property are inheritance and property bought before the marriage. Marital property is divided based on a number of different factors and it is up to the judge how the property is split up. Some examples of criteria to divide marital property are the length of the marriage, age of each spouse, and earnings of each spouse. Some of the same criteria are used to assess child support payments, child custody, and spousal support payments. Contact a PA divorce lawyer to ask specific questions about how your marital estate may be divided fairly.

Does it matter who files for divorce first in PA?

It does not matter who files for divorce first in Pennsylvania. However, there are advantages to being the first person to file. The first person to file for divorce has more time to find a reliable and trustworthy PA divorce lawyer. They also have more time to gather and analyze paperwork and documentation relating to the divorce. PA divorce lawyers can advise on what paperwork needs to be prepared.

Please reach out to Martine, Katz Scanlon & Schimmel, P.A. with many years of practice in the Greater Philadelphia Area to consult with an experienced PA divorce lawyer. Their lawyers are trained in PA state divorce laws and will help you start your new life.