Divorce in Pennsylvania
Legally, divorce is the dissolution of marriage. Emotionally, it is the breakup of a family, and the beginning of a new stage of life for all parties involved. If children are involved, the legal and emotional aspects become more complex. It is important to choose a qualified lawyer who is dedicated to achieving a resolution in your personal, legal, emotional, and financial best interests.
Grounds for Divorce
A marriage is a legal contract, and divorce requires legally acceptable reasons (grounds) for breaking that contract. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognizes both fault and no-fault divorce.
No Fault Divorce:
- A divorce by mutual consent may be granted following the filing of required documents beginning 90 days after the initial complaint is filed. Affidavits of Consent and other documents must also be filed.
- When one party wants to end the marriage, and the other does not, a no-fault divorce may be granted only if the marriage is deemed irretrievably broken. This will only be considered when two years has passed since the initial filing, or after the spouses have been living separate and apart for a minimum of two years.
- One party must prove that the other is guilty of misconduct, which led to the marriage breakdown. The accusing party must be proven “innocent and injured.”
- Acceptable grounds for fault divorce are clearly defined by law. They include insanity, conviction of a crime, desertion, violence, adultery, and bigamy.
Decree of Divorce
The final court order is known as a decree of divorce. It specifies the terms of the divorce, regarding issues brought forth by either party during the proceeding. It may include, but is not limited to, alimony, child support custody and visitation, counsel fees, and marital property. Your attorney acts as your representative in the negotiations, working to ensure that your issues are addressed, and enforcing your rights.
The legal divorce process can become a confusing, treacherous road. Let former Chairman of the PA Bar Family Law Section, Jack A. Rounick, guide you down the least stressful, most beneficial path. He has experience and knowledge to navigate the PA court system successfully, with a focus on your best interest, and the well-being of any children involved. If you have been served with a divorce action, or you are considering filing for divorce, call 484-684-6055 and schedule a consultation today.