In Pennsylvania, establishing grounds for divorce must occur before the court can enter a divorce decree. There are three different procedures in order to establish the grounds for divorce: 1) consent under Section 3301(c) of the Divorce Code; 2) establishing an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and two years of continuous separation under Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code or 3) establishing fault based grounds.
No-Fault Divorce under Section 3301(c)
The simplest and most cost effective process for establish grounds for divorce is through the consent of both parties. After a divorce complaint is filed and served on the other party, and after 90 days have passed, both parties can file an “Affidavit of Consent” with the court. An Affidavit of Consent is a special form that each party can sign that confirms he or she gives their consent to the entry of a decree in divorce. After both parties file their Affidavits and If there are no claims for alimony or equitable distribution or if these claims have been resolved by execution of a marital settlement agreement, then the court will grant a decree in divorce.
Pennsylvania Divorce Lawyer
The no-fault divorce by consent under Section 3301(c) is quicker, easier and cheaper than proceeding under Section 3301(d) or proceeding with trying to secure fault based grounds. Divorce through consent of the parties the preferred method; however, there are many situations when this is not possible. Obviously, if a spouse refuses to consent to the divorce, then a no-fault divorce under Section 3301(c) is not possible. In these situations, the consenting spouse often has to wait two (2) years from the initial separation date in order to proceed with establishing divorce grounds. Sometimes, both spouses do consent to the divorce, but they cannot agree on alimony or an equitable distribution of the marital property. In these situations, the divorce grounds can be entered, but a final divorce decree must wait until the court resolves the outstanding economic claims.
The Martin Law Firm | Montgomery County, PA
For over 15 years, we have helped men and women through simple, no-fault, consensual divorces. When economic claims are involved, we counsel our clients on their legal rights and help them make informed decisions when it comes to dividing marital property or establish alimony payments. We are here to help you, whether your divorce is simple or complex. Contact us today to schedule an initial one-hour consultation to review your situation and help you make the right choices.