Even in the best cases, the dissolution of a marriage is a complicated and often painful experience. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can help simplify the process and give you space to focus on healing and taking care of your family.
Keep reading to learn more about divorce in Pennsylvania, including a step-by-step outline of the process and why it’s beneficial to hire a lawyer for divorce.
What Is the Divorce Process in Pennsylvania?
The process for divorcing your spouse in Pennsylvania looks different depending on the goals, assets and level of conflict between the parties.
If both spouses want to be divorced and agree the marriage is unable to be repaired, , they must first file a complaint with the court. After a 90-day waiting period, both parties will file a sworn statement affirming that the union is severed and that they want to get divorced.
The process is finalized once the court enters a divorce decree.
If one spouse wants to get divorced and the other doesn’t, the plaintiff (the partner wishing to get divorced) must prove that the marriage is irreparable and that the spouses have been living separate lives for at least one year. These two provisions must be met before the court will finalize an un-consented divorce decree.
In some cases, the party who wishes to get divorced isn’t willing to wait a year or cannot safely wait a year before severing legal ties to their spouse.
Pennsylvania courts will grant a fault-based divorce if the person who wants to get divorced can prove their spouse has caused them harm or pain worthy of divorce. There are specific criteria that need to be met in order for a court to approve a fault-based divorce. It is important to consult with an attorney before filing for a fault-based divorce to ensure you meet the necessary criteria.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer for Divorce?
Having an experienced divorce attorney on your team helps preserve and protect your assets.
Hiring a divorce lawyer becomes even more essential when there are complicated factors involved in the split – such as mutually-owned property, marital debt or dependent children. An attorney can guide the process toward a solution that most benefits any minors or vulnerable family members affected by the split.
Finally, legal representation is vital if you’re filing for an unconsented or fault-based divorce. Your attorney will help you assemble the necessary evidence to prove your case before the court.
Why Work with Mette Evans & Woodside?
As an experienced family law and divorce attorney in Harrisburg, PA, Hannah White-Gibson has years of experience handling family law challenges with expertise and compassion. She works with clients to make the process more manageable by focusing on resolving disputes through mediation or the collaborative process.
Hire a Harrisburg Divorce Lawyer
Understanding your rights, options and responsibilities is essential to successfully filing for divorce in Pennsylvania. Contact Mette Evans & Woodside for legal guidance and representation.