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Advantages of a 'Mutual Consent' Divorce in PA

Posted By Cairns Law Offices || 25-Jan-2016

Have you been served with a divorce complaint? If so, you may be pondering whether you'll consent to that divorce your husband or wife wants, or whether you'll put up a fight.

In "no fault" divorce states, such as California, a judge will grant a divorce without any delay so long as one of the spouses wants out. However, it's not that simple in Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, if both parties agree to a divorce, their divorce can move rapidly through the courts and will be ripe for a seal of approval from the court as soon as 90 days after the complaint has been served on the other party. This is known as a MUTUAL CONSENT divorce.

On the other hand, not all spouses will divorce so easily. Sometimes a spouse makes it clear that they don't want to get divorced. In that case, if the divorce is on no-fault grounds, the couple will have to live separate and apart for two years before the divorce can be finalized under the current law.

What if your spouse has filed a "fault" divorce? In a fault-based divorce, your spouse would have to prove 1) that he or she is innocent, and 2) that they are injured. This means that your misconduct supposedly caused the breakdown of the marriage.

What qualifies as "allowable" grounds in a fault divorce?

  • Cheating
  • Spousal abuse
  • Child abuse
  • Bigamy
  • Insanity
  • Convicted of a crime

Why agree to a 'mutual consent' divorce?

Are you thinking about holding out and fighting your spouse's divorce filing? If so, what are you reasons for imposing the delay?

Here's something for you to think about…

Under the current law, if one spouse doesn't want a divorce, the couple must live separately for two years before they can get unhitched.

While the two-year rule was meant to encourage reconciliation, it has not managed to achieve its intended result. Instead, couples are in divorce limbo for two to three years, and that's not the healthiest place for people to be.

In fact, time has proven to state legislatures that prolonging a divorce leads to negative consequences, for example, it promotes litigation and harms the well-being of the children. This brings us to House Bill 380, which if passed, will reduce the time for no-fault divorce down to one year, instead of two years.

If your spouse wants a divorce and you don't, you'll want to seriously consider your response. By agreeing to a no-fault divorce, you save time, money, and the heartache of prolonging the inevitable.

Plus, you're encouraging an amicable divorce, and we all know that people make better decisions when they have a positive and realistic attitude about the future of their divorce proceedings.

For an affordable no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania, contact Cairns Law Offices!