Marriage is a contract. And, while it may seem unusual to think about it in this way, divorce is simply a termination of that contract.
In Pennsylvania, you can end the marriage contract by mutual agreement with your spouse. This is considered a “no-fault” divorce and the most common way couples choose to end their marriage. There are two ways a no-fault divorce may proceed in Pennsylvania. In the situation where both parties agree that the marriage is over, the parties can sign paperwork for a consensual divorce within 90 days after one party receives divorce paperwork from the other party.
In the scenario where one party wants a divorce and the other party wants to try to save the marriage, upon request, the courts may compel the parties to attend three counseling sessions. However, after the parties have been separated for one year the party desiring the divorce may still move the case forward in the court even if the other party does not agree.
There is also still fault divorce in Pennsylvania. To obtain a fault divorce, a party must prove fault grounds for a divorce at a court hearing by showing that one spouse was at fault for the breakup of the marriage. People rarely choose this option because it is costly and does not really give either party any real legal advantage.
Regardless of how you may proceed, ending a marriage is never easy. Most times divorce also involves financial issues If you have assets and debts, those will need to be apportioned between you and your spouse. In Pennsylvania, this division is known as equitable distribution. There will also likely be support issues to be determined related to support for you or your children.
If you have children, you will need to agree on a schedule of time for them to spend with each parent during the week, as well as holidays, vacations, and school breaks. An understanding will need to be reached on how major decisions relating to the children’s education, health, and spiritual training will be made. Not surprisingly, decisions involving the children are often emotionally charged.
If you are interested in a consultation to discuss the options available to resolve your divorce, custody issues, support, or equitable distribution issues, please contact me and I can help you investigate your options. Call me, Lenore M.J. Myers, at 215-470-3121 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.