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Time Limits & Divorce in PA: Does a Recent Revision Affect You?

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Getting divorced is a legal proceeding. As such, state law applies. These laws can change and those considering divorce are wise to stay current with any changes that could impact their divorce.

One change that was recently passed in Pennsylvania involves the amount of time a couple must wait before moving forward with a divorce.

Why the revision? The law evolves for many reasons. Two of the main reasons for this change were discussed in a previous post, available here.

What is the new change? There are various grounds for divorce in Pennsylvania. For couples that are moving forward with their divorce based on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, the court used to require the couple live “separate and apart for a period of at least two years.”

This has changed.

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania revised the law to require a one year wait period, as opposed to the previously required two year wait period.

When does this change go into effect? The enactment went into effect in October of 2016. As a result, it is currently in effect and may impact your divorce.

How does this affect my divorce? If you are getting divorced in Pennsylvania, this law means those who claim an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage as the grounds for the divorce do not have to wait as long to move forward with the proceeding.

This is true even if one spouse denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken. In this situation, the court would review the marriage and make a determination.

This recent change in the law provides an example of the many moving parts of family law in Pennsylvania. As a result, those going through a divorce are wise to seek legal counsel to better ensure that their interests are protected and that they are kept appraised of the latest changes to family law that could impact their case.

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