If you want to get a divorce in Pennsylvania, you must review some of the necessary steps. The more time you take to get this information, the easier this process will be. Getting a divorce doesn’t have to be a complicated process if you know exactly what to do from the start.
- Know the Residency Requirements
In order to get a divorce in the state of Pennsylvania, you must be a resident for a minimum of six months. You can file for divorce where your spouse lives if they meet the residency requirement.
- Fill Out the Paperwork
If you and your spouse have both agreed to the divorce, you will need to pick up a Divorce Settlement Agreement from your local county clerk’s office. It is important that you fill out the entire documents without missing anything. Pennsylvania does not these documents online, so you have to go down in person.
- Have Your Spouse Served
The next step in this process is to have your spouse served with the divorce papers. You will need to do this within a period of 30 days. If you wait longer than this, you will be required to re-file. You can send it over via snail mail.
- Work out the Details
After you have served your spouse with the divorce papers, you will need to meet with them and come up with terms for how everything is going to be split. If you have children together, you’ll have to discuss how custody is going to work. The Support Guideline Computation that Pennsylvania offers will help you determine how much child support you may have to give or can receive.
Pennsylvania has a mandatory 90-day wait period for divorces after all the necessary paperwork has been files. Once this period of time has elapsed, you can turn in all remaining documents. You will have to submit the original copies of the paperwork as well as two separate copies of the settlement agreement.
- Go to Court
When you attend your final court hearing, the judge will finalize your divorce with an official decree. You will be able to get a copy of this decree, which can be useful for a number of situations. The decree is only given after both parties have reached a settlement agreement. If your spouse is contesting the divorce, things could move along slower.
- You should keep in mind that there are two types of divorce in Pennsylvania. There is no no-fault and at-fault divorce. No-fault is when you both acknowledge that the relationship is irrevocably broken and can be reconciled. At-fault divorce is when a person has abandoned their partner for at least one year, committed adultery or some form of abuse.
It is a good idea for you to hire a lawyer if your spouse plans to contest the divorce or get a lawyer of their own. This will ensure that you are protected from a legal standpoint.