Faster Divorces Available Thanks to Act 10212 Oct 2017, by Divorce in
Written by Timothy Czekaj
One of the many difficult aspects of a divorce is how long the legal proceedings take. When you begin the legal process, you may be under the illusion you can get through it in a few months. You may think you and your spouse agree on enough or have so few assets that there is no need for negotiations to stretch out. Unfortunately, divorces often take years. When you and your spouse do not agree on ending the marriage or on many issues within the proceedings, it will take even longer. Fortunately, a new Pennsylvania law, known as Act 102, helps speed up the process in some divorce cases. If you are going through a no-fault divorce, you may only need to wait one year before being able to obtain a faster divorce.
Before Pennsylvania’s Act 102, the waiting period for a unilateral no-fault divorce was two years. This meant that for an individual to obtain a divorce from their spouse on no-fault grounds – without their spouse’s consent – they would have to live apart from their husband or wife for at least two years. It would take a two-year separation before the court would accept that the marriage was irreparably damaged. However, under Act 102, the waiting period for a unilateral no-fault divorce is now only one year. If you are interested in obtaining a divorce and you know your spouse will not consent, you now only have to live separately from your spouse for 12 months before you can prove to the court that the marriage is truly over.
Fulfilling the Required Waiting Period
If you are ready to begin the legal process of obtaining a divorce from your spouse, contact an experienced Pennsylvania divorce attorney at Czekaj Law, LLC right away. There are multiple types of divorce in Pennsylvania: mutual no-fault, unilateral no-fault, and fault divorce. If you and your spouse agree to the divorce, it can be finalized after a minimum of three months, depending on the speed at which you resolve all of the various issues such as child custody, child support, property division, and alimony. However, if you file for divorce and your spouse refuses to consent, you will have to complete a minimum one-year separation.
Under the law, you must be able to prove that you have lived separate and apart from your spouse during this entire year. You can complete this requirement while living under the same roof, however most people choose to live in separate homes.
Wherever you and your spouse live, you both must stop acting as if you are married to fulfill the waiting requirement. This typically includes:
- Having independent sleeping areas
- Refraining from sexual or intimate conduct
- Not sharing meals
- Separating your household duties and chores
- Separating your parenting duties as is appropriate and in the best interest of your children
- Separating your finances as much as possible
- Living an independent life outside of the marriage
Let Our Divorce Attorney Help You
Deciding your marriage is over can be heartbreaking. It has likely been months or years of being unhappy or unfulfilled, and now you are ready to file for divorce and move forward in life independently. Unfortunately, being ready or knowing it is time does not make the process any easier. At Czekaj Law, LLC, we understand that you need both objective legal information and compassionate help during this time. We will explain your options, rights, and responsibilities in regard to divorce while gently helping you understand what to expect in the coming months and years. Our goal will be to help you through this process as quickly and smoothly as possible.