What Is A No-Fault Divorce?

Pennsylvania allows both no-fault and fault divorces. Most people are familiar with the idea of grounds for divorce; despite the fact the overwhelming majority of divorces in Pennsylvania are no fault. This is because fault divorces require proof of grounds for divorce such as adultery, abandonment or physical abuse, and are expensive to pursue without any great benefit to the client.

The Basics Of No-Fault Divorce

There are two ways to get a no-fault divorce, by consent of the parties or by living separate and apart for two years or more. A consent divorce means that after the original divorce papers are served, and a mandatory 90-day waiting period passes, the parties can sign consents to divorce and the papers are filed with the court and a divorce is granted. Each county has its own particular quirks in this process, but a divorce can be granted in four to five months.

For a consent divorce to happen both parties have to be willing to sign the consents. If one party will not sign the consents then the parties must be living separate and apart for two years before the divorce can be finalized. The divorce action can be filed at any time, including while the parties are still living together and you do not have to wait to file the divorce action.

Property Division And Support Issues

It is important to remember that once the final divorce is granted most, if not all, financial claims (except for child support) are lost if a settlement agreement has not been negotiated and signed by the parties or the court has held hearings and ordered a financial resolution. All settlement agreements should be prepared by an experienced family law attorney, and should never be signed unless an attorney has reviewed and explained the terms.

Any financial issues that cannot be negotiated and resolved are then submitted to the court and the court will hold hearings as needed if the court is unable to assist the parties in reaching a settlement. Please see our sections on marital assets (equitable distribution) and alimony for further information on how these important issues are dealt within divorce proceedings.

Contact Us To Learn More

Contact Thomas & Thomas Attorneys At Law at our Easton, Pennsylvania, office to schedule an initial consultation or case evaluation with our experienced family law attorneys. Our law office is conveniently located across the street from the Northampton County Courthouse. We accept most major credit cards, checks and cash. You can reach us at 610-559-9271.