What Are Grounds for Divorce in Pennsylvania?
Marriage is supposed to last forever, or more realistically, until one or both partners pass away. However, that is not always the case. For some couples, marriage will end in divorce at one point or another, and if this happens to you, you may be wondering what your rights are and how a divorce will affect you. It is important to know that when filing for a divorce, courts do not consider either party in a marriage to be at fault when making decisions. However, they do take misconduct into consideration.
Pennsylvania’s Divorce Laws
In the state of Pennsylvania, either spouse can file for divorce at any time. However, depending on whether a divorce is a “no-fault” divorce or a “fault” divorce, the process may be different. A “no-fault” divorce can be broken down into “mutual consent” or “irretrievable breakdown,” where both parties claim that their marriage cannot be repaired. Grounds for divorce in Pennsylvania include:
- Adultery – when one spouse cheats on the other.
- Domestic violence – when a party is subjected to abuse that endangers their life or their health.
- Abandoning a spouse for at least one year – the desertion does not come with any reason.
- Bigamy – marrying someone else while your spouse is still living.
- Verbal abuse and indignities – where one spouse makes the other’s life intolerable.
Fault Divorce vs. No-Fault Divorce
The biggest difference between fault divorce and no-fault divorce is the process both parties must go through. In a fault divorce, one spouse accuses the other spouse of doing something that led to the divorce. This type of divorce may lead to a long and drawn out court trial. When both parties agree to a divorce and neither one accuses the other of misconduct, this is called no-fault and it is a quicker process than fault divorce.
Couples seeking a no-fault divorce must claim that their marriage is broken beyond repair, “irretrievably broken.” A couple must also file an affidavit stating that they both agree to the divorce. For a divorce to be granted by a court, 90 days will have passed since a divorce action was initiated.
What if One Party Wants a Divorce, but the Other Party Does Not?
If one party wants a divorce, but the other party does not, a divorce may still be granted if the party filing is properly prepared. Proper preparation includes filing for divorce under the grounds that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” and filing an affidavit. In this case, the affidavit will need to state that the marriage cannot be repaired and that the couple has been living separate lives for at least two years.
Bucks County Divorce Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Represent Clients Seeking to File for Divorce
Divorce is stressful, but with the right lawyer you can make the process a little easier. Contact a Bucks County divorce lawyer at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Our experienced lawyers are dedicated to helping clients through the divorce process and achieving a fair and equitable outcome. For a free consultation, contact us online or call 888-999-1962. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina. We proudly represent clients throughout Pennsylvania.