How to get a divorce in Pennsylvania: What you should know

Many people confuse traditional divorce with an uncontested divorce, but they are far different. The average person who goes through a traditional divorce scales hurdles that are just as frustrating as emotionally draining. An uncontested divorce, on the other hand, is relatively conflict-free and fast. If you live in Pennsylvania and face the misfortune of ending your marriage, wouldn’t you want it to be as stress-free and as inexpensive as possible? If a simple process is what you are looking out for, look no further than an online divorce arrangement.

You can apply for a divorce online from the comfort of your home

Gone are the days when couples had to appear before a judge to end their marriage physically. Today, the quest for a streamlined life and an easier way of doing things has led to innovative processes that continue to transform our lives for the better. Just as individuals can start up new relationships online and even get married, they are also able to apply for a divorce online.

These days, divorce service companies are operating online that grant divorce applicants the opportunity to fill out and submit divorce documents to Pennsylvania courts through their platform. Filing for divorce online is not only possible today but also easy.

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a term that has gained credence in recent times, but many are unaware of its true meaning. To better understand what the term stands for, you must first understand its direct opposite, which is contested divorce. A contested divorce is a divorce in which one spouse raises contentious issues during the divorce proceedings. Conflicts vary and are unique to each divorce situation. For instance, a spouse may raise issues regarding the following:

  • Alimony payments
  • Child Care
  • Co-parenting arrangements
  • Division of assets

When there are disagreements regarding one or more issues, the court will halt proceedings until the problems are resolved either amicably by both couples or by the court.  The opposite of contested divorce is an uncontested one.

In an uncontested divorce, one party files for divorce and the other party is in full agreement with the arrangements because he or she had a hand in putting them together. Due to the understanding shared by both parties, there isn’t any need for the courts to get involved. Both spouses reach an agreement independent of the courts, and they bring their divorce proposal to the court for ratification.

Does an uncontested divorce require the input of an attorney?

Having the attorney’s input when filing for divorce is not a bad idea since the attorney will review your information to ensure that they conform with the laid down regulations of Pennsylvania courthouses. However, attorney services are not essential if you are using a very reliable platform. Some of the best online divorce websites have experts who will guide you through the document preparation process and submitting the divorce paperwork.

You have the option of submitting the documents to the court through their platform without having to appear in court. Divorce without an attorney is a good option if your divorce is uncontested, and you use the services of a reliable online divorce service such as https://pennsylvaniaonlinedivorce.com/.

How Online divorce works in Pennsylvania

Online divorce works in Pennsylvania precisely the same way as it does in other states. Once the couple looking to end a marriage agrees, all it takes is getting the paperwork prepared online and applying for divorce at any of Pennsylvania’s district courts. Here are the primary conditions that must be fulfilled for the courts to grant their request to dissolve their marriage.

  • Residential status: One or both parties must have been permanent residents of Pennsylvania for at least 6 months before applying for the divorce. Providing evidence to prove residency is also essential. Without proof of residence, the courts may not be willing to grant your request. Fortunately, proving your status shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Grounds for divorce: There have to be grounds for divorce for the process to scale through. The reason for applying for divorce should be stated clearly in the divorce paperwork. Pennsylvania has both no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce. Since fault-based grounds have to be proven in court, couples going for an uncontested divorce typically go with a no-fault ground, the most common of which is ‘irretrievable breakdown’ of the marriage.
  • 90 days wait: In Pennsylvania, a couple must wait for a minimum period of 90 days after submitting their divorce application. If no objection is raised during this period, the court will approve the divorce.
  • Property Settlement Agreement: If the divorce is a no-fault divorce, the couple must agree to a PSA if there are issues regarding alimony or assets. This agreement is vital as it prevents disputes from arising in the future.
  • Divorce Separation: According to Pennsylvania marital laws, if a separation occurred before December 2016, the divorce is billed as a 2-year divorce separation. However, if the separation occurred after December 2016, the divorce separation is one year.

An uncontested divorce is the fruit of understanding between the couple involved. In some cases, no third party is involved in the process. In other cases, a trained mediation is brought into the fold to act as the middleman. In addition to the mediator, one or both parties may choose to involve an attorney to represent their interests and ensure a peaceful transition into post-divorce life.

Mediation is an integral part of online divorce proceedings and should be treated as such. Mediation offers a couple the opportunity to part ways in less acrimonious circumstances and retain their dignity and privacy.

Why you should consider applying for an online divorce

There are several benefits gained by those who apply for a divorce online in Pennsylvania. Here are some of them.

A DIY divorce is fast

Protracted divorce proceedings can be fractious and time-consuming. The longer the process lasts, the more difficult it will be for you to move on with your life. Uncontested divorce processed online are not so. Since you don’t have to appear in court, the time reduced to complete the process is less. After submitting your documents, you only need to wait for 90 days to complete the process.

Having to drag your children to court if there is a dispute regarding child custody isn’t something you would like, and honestly, children should not have to put up with the indiscretion of their parents. Online divorce is much more peaceful and faster.

It is the cheapest form of divorce

Filing for divorce online is one of the cheapest forms of divorce you will ever find. Some online divorce platforms offer their services for under $300. If you compare this rate to the national average cost of a contested divorce, which can be as much as $9,000-$12,000, you understand why many people opt for divorce online if it is uncontested.

You don’t have to walk away from your unhappy marriage with an empty bank account. Leaving a marriage with little or no money will make your transition into singlehood a lot more difficult as you may have to pay for a new house, among other expenses. Opting for an affordable way out should be your goal.

Retain your privacy all through the process

If yours is an uncontested divorce, you benefit from going through the entire process with little scrutiny from people who are not members of your inner circle. Since you will not be dealing with attorneys and a trial, you and your spouse will retain private information that you both don’t want in open court.

Conclusion

Applying for divorce used to be a nightmare for many due to the exorbitant cost of divorce. Divorce is still an expensive endeavor, but today, there is a cheaper alternative called a DIY divorce or an online divorce. Nobody enters into a marriage with a plan to exit, but this is an unfortunate reality; many of us will have to deal with one or more times during our lives. As painful as the process may be, you can make it less painful by using online divorce platforms to your advantage. 

Sitting down with your spouse and working on an agreement suitable for both of you is the first step you must take.  The second step is to search for an online platform that offers divorce services for a Pennsylvania divorce. After you have filled out and submitted the forms, wait for 90 days, and your marriage will be dissolved.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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