If you have decided to divorce, doing some research is the logical next step. Below are a few factors to get you started.
Grounds for Divorce
First, you’ll need to think about whether you want to file a fault or no-fault divorce. Some states are no-fault only, so your jurisdiction is important here. “Grounds for divorce” is a term that refers to your reasoning for the divorce. Traditional grounds for divorce include things like adultery, abandonment and cruelty.
Each state has some version of no-fault divorce, which means that couples may seek a divorce without grounds or an explanation. No-fault divorces tend to be less expensive and less contentious than fault-based divorces.
No-fault divorces became part of Pennsylvania’s legal code in 1980. In the Commonwealth, there are two types of no-fault divorc:
- Divorce by consent: Both spouses sign and file an Affidavit of Consent 90 days after serving a Notice to Defend and Divorce Complaint.
- Divorce after two years of separation: A person can file for a no-fault divorce without the consent of a spouse if the spouses have been separated and living apart for at lease two years.
Where you and your spouse live and why you want to divorce are two important considerations when deciding on whether to file for a fault or no-fault divorce.
Where to File
Spouses who live in the same county can file for divorce in that county. Those who each live in a different county may file in either county. However, if child custody is involved, the couple must file in the county where the children reside or where they resided in the previous six months if a parent still resides there.
Divorce Timeline and Cost
Every divorcing couple has a different experience. How long your divorce will take first depends on whether you and your spouse both consent to the split. If you can resolve your financial matters expediently, your divorce can be relatively quick. Contested divorces typically take much longer to resolve — sometimes involving a trial before a judge and other additional steps. In addition, having good legal representation can help ensure you move through the process as efficiently as possible.
Likewise, the cost of your divorce will depend on whether you both consent. The more arguments that happen between the spouses, the more time and money they’ll spend.
Need Advice? We’re Here.
Our Pennsylvania and New Jersey divorce lawyers are available for same-day, no-obligation consultations. During our first meeting, we will answer your questions and identify your goals and any potential obstacles. We’ll also discuss issues such as parental rights and division of property, and our team will advise you on protecting your assets. If you decide to retain us as your counsel, we can we can begin the process immediately after the first meeting.
We know that divorce is a major life change. Understanding what to expect is critical to success. When you are ready to speak with an experienced lawyer about moving forward, feel free to contact our firm by calling (215) 523-6900 or scheduling an appointment online.