No-fault divorce can help couples separate amicably, avoid stress and cut down on family conflict. Simply put, no-fault divorce allows one spouse to obtain a divorce without the other spouse’s consent. Regardless of the type of divorce you may be considering, seeking the counsel of experienced local divorce attorneys is vital to protect your rights and interests.
If you file for fault-based divorce, you must prove wrongdoing by your spouse. No-fault divorce means that the person filing for divorce is not required to show any fault by their spouse. “Irreconcilable differences” is often cited in no-fault cases.
If your spouse does not consent to a divorce, you must wait a designated period of one year before you can seek relief through the courts including division of assets and any determinations regarding alimony. If your spouse has been in a mental hospital for 18 months and will remain in the hospital for at least another 18 months, you can file for divorce on no-fault grounds.
If both parties agree to the divorce, you can seek an uncontested divorce by mutual consent, which is typically granted 90 days after the divorce filing. Mutual no-fault divorce gives both spouses an opportunity to consent to divorce and avoid a long, drawn-out process. An uncontested divorce by mutual consent means that both parties give sworn affidavits declaring that the marriage is irreparably broken. In this type of no-fault divorce, it is crucial to have a lawyer draft a divorce settlement agreement, which outlines the terms of the divorce, rights and responsibilities of each party and division of property, assets and debts.
Filing for No-Fault Divorce
Before you file for divorce, it’s a good idea to make an appointment for a legal consultation and prepare the right questions to ask your divorce lawyer that would help to determine your best course of action. An experienced family law attorney can help you understand how divorce and custody proceedings work in Pennsylvania and prepare you for any pitfalls that may arise.
To file for any type of divorce in Pennsylvania, you or your spouse must have lived in the state of PA for at least six months. To file for no-fault divorce, you must first file a divorce complaint with the Court of Common Pleas in the county where you or your spouse resides. Your complaint should outline your eligibility for divorce in Pennsylvania, the reason for your divorce, and include any other matters you want the court to decide. These documents need to be served on the other party within 30 days of the date they were filed. It’s important to remember that even if you’re filing for no-fault, you may still encounter frustrating roadblocks that can delay proceedings if your spouse does not consent to the divorce. A divorce attorney can provide advice and more specifics on how to file for divorce in PA.
At Carosella & Associates, our skilled Chester County divorce lawyers will help you determine which type of divorce best fits your needs and ensure that your rights are protected.