No one getting married expects to get divorced one day, but the reality is that divorce is often the best option for couples who recognize that their marriage is no longer working. Many people may resist divorce because they assume the process is long and complicated. This is not always true.
A person must live in Pennsylvania for a period of 6 months before filing for divorce. If you’re lived here for 6 months or more, you may file for divorce at any time. From there, how long your divorce will take depends on whether your spouse will agree to a divorce.
If your spouse agrees to a divorce, there is a 90-day waiting period. The divorce can become final any time after the waiting period ends. Pennsylvania allows for no-fault divorced, so all you and your spouse must do after the 90-day waiting period is sign a document stating the marriage is irretrievably broken and your divorce will be granted.
What happens if my spouse won’t agree?
Fortunately, you can still obtain a divorce even if your spouse doesn’t agree to one and refuses to sign the necessary paperwork. The divorce process may simply take a bit longer.
If your spouse will not agree to a divorce, Pennsylvania law requires that you and your spouse live separate and apart for 1 year and show that your marriage is irretrievably broken. A marriage is irretrievably broken means that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation. After that, you may finalize your divorce with or without your spouse’s agreement.
Living “separate and apart” does not require living in separate households if that is not a realistic option. Spouses may live separate and apart while residing in the same residence, if evidence is shown your situation more closely resembles roommates than a married couple.
Once you’ve lived separate and apart for 1 year and attest your marriage is irretrievably broken, a divorce decree can be granted. Your spouse may still try to stop the divorce by proving that you weren’t living separate and apart or that your marriage is not irretrievably broken; however, those are often difficult things to prove.
Divorces that involve complex property division or financial issues may take longer to finalize. Some divorces may take years to complete if these types of disputes cannot be resolved efficiently. Having an experienced attorney who can guide you smoothly through the process, no matter what issues are involved, can be highly beneficial.