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The Argument for a No-Fault Divorce in Pennsylvania

Posted By Cairns Law Offices || 2-Sep-2019

We have all heard divorce horror stories over the years. We’ve heard tales of jealousy, spite, and long, drawn-out court battles. We’ve heard of litigated divorces plummeting spouses into bankruptcy and ruining every ounce of their emotional and financial wellbeing. We’ve heard of scarred children, and families ripped apart.

Whether you heard such a horror story from a close friend or family member, or a celebrity on TV, you probably understand what we’re getting at. Now, it’s your turn. It’s your turn to divorce and you have two options: 1) file a fault-based divorce and face a court battle, or 2) set your differences aside, file a no-fault divorce and have a much more peaceful divorce. The choice is yours.

Fault-Based Divorce

In the United States, we have strictly no-fault states and we have “mixed states,” which let people file for divorce on fault-based grounds or no-fault grounds. Pennsylvania is a mixed state, which means you can file a fault-based divorce or a no-fault divorce.

To file a fault-based divorce, you would have to choose one of the following grounds for divorce: adultery, abandonment without cause for a year or more, cruelty (including domestic violence), bigamy, criminal conviction with a sentence for at least two years, and humiliating an innocent spouse to the extent that the marriage is intolerable.

To file a fault-based divorce, the spouse’s misconduct must be proven in court. The main issues with fault-based divorces are that they’re more stressful, they’re more expensive, and they often involve a court battle.

Why No-Fault Divorce is Better

Spouses typically want to avoid a full-blown court battle, and most of them would prefer not to air their dirty laundry. To avoid these headaches, they can file a no-fault divorce. With a no-fault divorce, no one is pointing any fingers. The spouses file for divorce based on “irretrievable breakdown” and leave it at that.

If the divorce is by mutual consent, a divorce can be granted in as little as 90 days from the date the complaint is served on the other party. On the other hand, if only one spouse wants the divorce, and the spouses have been living separate and apart for at least one year, and it’s been at least one year since the divorce action was filed, the court can grant a divorce based on the marriage being irretrievably broken. These are both NO-FAULT divorces, though a mutual consent divorce can be obtained much faster.

Next: How Divorce Can Impact Your Job

Are you interested in obtaining a no-fault divorce for just $219? To learn more, contact our firm to speak with a Philadelphia divorce lawyer.