There’s no such thing as a stupid question!  Here are some of the most common questions we are asked. This week we will focus on divorces. Check back next week for another subject!


What are the grounds for divorce in Pennsylvania?

In the state of PA divorce is divided into two categories: fault and no fault.  A divorce on fault grounds requires that the plaintiff prove that he/she is innocent and that the other is guilty of one of the six categories of martial misconduct (adultery, desertion, cruel treatment, bigamy, imprisonment for a crime and indignities).

If a divorce is no-fault then the marriage is irretrievably broken.

My spouse and I both want a divorce.  What should we do first? 

Before you file for divorce in the state of Pennsylvania, consider if you think you are amicable enough to mediate your divorce.  In this case, you both agree to draft your own terms of your marital settlement with the help of a mediator.  In the state of Pennsylvania divorce mediation is filed under the no fault divorce statue meaning that one does not need to show fault which caused a divorce to be filed (adultery, abuse, etc.)

What do I do if my spouse serves me with divorce papers?

From the date the divorce papers are filed, you have up to two years to consent to it.  Do not delay.  Consult a divorce attorney as soon as possible to assist you and help with your legal options.  You then have the option of completing the divorce through lawyers or a divorce mediator.  An experienced attorney can help you through this emotional process so you can thoroughly understand the legal process.

What is the difference between separation and divorce?

In a separation agreement, both spouses have a legally-binding agreement that settles all of the affairs.  They may choose not to file a divorce decree with the court and can remain obligated under the separation agreement for an indefinite period of time. In a divorce, spouses have signed the agreement and file it in the appropriate county.  A judge will then issue a final divorce decree.  Many couples decide to remain separated without actually divorce for emotional, tax and financial reasons.