How Does The Divorce Process Work In Pennsylvania?
The divorce process starts out with a divorce complaint. When people get married, they have to take out a marriage license. In order to get divorced, you have to file a divorce complaint. A divorce complaint is a lawsuit essentially suing your spouse for a divorce. In the divorce complaint, there are two major components. One is the allegations for the grounds for divorce and the other is the economic claims, like division of marital assets and debts, request for alimony, attorney fees, and costs and expenses. Pennsylvania is a no fault state which means that you don’t have to allege specific grounds for divorce, like your spouse committing adultery. You simply allege that your marriage is irretrievably broken and/or that you have separated or may live separate and apart for the required length of time recognized as grounds for divorce.
As of December of 2016, your separation has to be one year or more. Prior to December of 2016, you had to be separated two years or more. Once your grounds for divorce are established by either mutual consent or length of separation, the only thing preventing the entry of a final divorce decree is the resolution of any economic claims (if raised) in the pleadings. In order to get divorced, all claims related to the marriage must be resolved. There are two ways to resolve them; One is by agreement and the other is through the court system, where the court tells you and your spouse how your property is to be divided.
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