Ending a relationship or marriage can be one of the most challenging decisions in life. Be it long term or for a short time, taking a step towards divorce or separation is not easy. Apart from the process, the entire ordeal can be mentally and physically exhausting. Getting a divorce or separation is taxing for both parties involved, which is why the process has to go as smoothly as possible. While some couples make the final decision to end their marriage, others opt for legal separation before taking the more permanent step of divorce.
While the quickest option is getting an uncontested online divorce, you may want to take some time out for legal separation. In the state of Pennsylvania, you can legally be separated, but there are various aspects related to the process that need to be given diligent attention beforehand. If you are considering divorce later date, the time that you are separated with your spouse is critically important for various reasons. Once all the details are clarified, both the parties can apply for a quick and seamless divorce online. This is one of the best ways to avoid the expensive service of lawyers and preserve your bests interests in the end.
However, prior to filing the divorce papers, there are a lot of things that have to be considered and fulfilled so as to make sure that the process remains hassle-free. If the couple has minor children, child support, custody, and alimony has to be figured out by both parties. The spouses can mutually come to an agreement between themselves for an uncontested online divorce or the court can decide and make an arrangement on their behalf. Since there are many requirements that one has to focus on, it could be a great idea to separate first and then apply for an uncontested divorce online.
Separation before Divorce
Many couples might wonder if they have to opt for a legal separation before starting with the divorce process. Well, within the state of Pennsylvania, being legally separated is not recognized, but the date from when both the spouses started living in separation does matter a lot. Being separated can help solve several issues, such as the division of jointly or individually owned assets. Basically, separation in Pennsylvania does not necessarily require the spouses to be physically apart. In fact, you can be separated and even still live under the same roof.
Pennsylvania Divorce Code takes into account separation as the time from when the couple stopped cohabiting and behaving as husband and wife. In separation, the key factor is that there is a complete breakdown of the marital relationship. Either the husband or the wife has to make it clear to the other spouse that they plan to end the marriage. This is either done when one of the parties leaves the place of residence or even if they live apart in the same house and communicate to their spouse that they want to file for a divorce.
Getting an Uncontested Divorce
There is no better way to make the intense challenging process of divorce easier for both parties than to go about it uncontested
. Once you have realized that the marriage will not work, you will have to agree with your spouse to file for a no-fault divorce so that a quick result can be obtained. So long as the residency requirements have been met, either of the parties can begin the process by filing for divorce under a no-fault ground.
Eligibility for Residency
In the state of Pennsylvania, the residency requirement is straightforward. The law states that divorce can be filed within the state if one of the spouses has been a ‘bona fide’ resident of Pennsylvania for at least six prior to filing the petition for dissolution of their marriage.
Grounds for Divorce
After meeting the residency requirements, either spouse can initiate the proceedings of divorce. The person doing the filing is known as the petitioner, while the other spouse is known as the respondent. In the filing, the petition will have to state a ground (a reason) for the divorce. Pennsylvania recognizes both no-fault and fault-based grounds.
The fault-based grounds for divorce include abuse, cruelty, inhumane treatment, adultery, imprisonment of one of the parties for two years, willing abandonment for a year, and emotional distress.
For an uncontested online divorce in Pennsylvania, it has to be a no-fault divorce. For a no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania, the petitioner only has to state that there was an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage which cannot be fixed.
If there is mutual consent and both spouses are willing to sign an affidavit contested to the fact that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the action can be filed right away. When conducting a divorce based on mutual consent, 90 days has to pass after the petition is filed before the divorce can be finalized.
If there is not mutual consent about the marriage being irretrievably broken, the petitioner has to sign an affidavit that the couple has been living separately for a period of 2 years. If the respondent does not deny these allegations of living separately for 2 years, the divorce can move forward immediately without the 90 day waiting period. This is why, even though legal separation isn’t recognized in Pennsylvania, living separately before a divorce can matter a lot.
Child Custody and Support
Agreeing on the terms of separation and divorce has to include a settlement of issues related to child support and custody
if young children are involved. In the state of Pennsylvania, best interests of a child are considered when it comes to divorce and custody issues. As such, the law encourages both parents to share custody. In shared legal custody both parents possess the right to make decisions about the child’s betterment. Typically though, one parent will act as the main custodian (physical custody) and the other will have visitation rights. The court reviews the agreement and will approve it so long as the living conditions, education, well-being, and overall attachment of the child to their parents, siblings, and environment are not being compromised.
As far as child support goes, both the parties can decide upon an appropriate amount with the help of the Pennsylvania Child Support Estimator that takes into account the household income of both parents and daily expenses and needs of the child. Child support has to be updated once every four years and reviewed by the judicial system.
A do-it-yourself divorce is fast and affordable since there is no dealing with attorneys or regular court appearances which often complicate the process unnecessarily. All you have to do is go online, download the forms, and follow the instructions.
Pennsylvania Online Divorce has all the information you will require for the process. This website handles all the paperwork for uncontested divorce
, making the process as easy and simple as possible. If you are looking for a quick divorce, they will provide you with all the completed paperwork using authorized forms which are accepted by all courts across the state. This will ensure that the whole process is completed in the shortest time possible.