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What are the 2 types of no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, most divorces happen via the no-fault divorce process because it is far cheaper and easier to carry out than a fault-based divorce. With no-fault, divorcing couples don't need to go before a judge, and the only time they have to go to court is to file their divorce papers. This article will look at the two types of no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania.

The usual route for no-fault divorce happens when both parties are in agreement to terminate the union. First, divorce papers are filed, then a 90-day waiting period ensues. After that 90-days, both parties can file their Affidavits of Consent. By filing a Property Settlement Agreement, parties can also agree to asset division terms. Another series of legal documents also need to be filed, and this requires both sides to work together.

The alternative route for no-fault divorce is referred to as "irretrievable breakdown" or "unilateral" no-fault divorce. This can be carried out if one or the other parties does not agree to terminating the union, but they have been living separately and apart without any cohabitation for a period of two or more years. In this divorce track, spouses are permitted to file for divorce before the 2-year period has come to conclusion, but the divorce will not be granted until after two years has passed. It is vital, then, to have clear documentation of when cohabitation ceased.

Pennsylvania spouses can get advice from a family law or divorce attorney on how to ensure that their cessation of cohabitation is appropriately documented. They can also get advice on the best way to go about their divorce, so that their rights and the rights of any children they share with their spouses are protected during their legal proceedings.

Source: Women's Law Project, "Divorce in Philadelphia County," accessed Jan. 14, 2016

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