If you are pondering over an idea to end your marriage, you are definitely wondering how fast you can do it. A divorce time frame mainly depends on whether you and your spouse are in agreement:
- If you are in agreement, your divorce is uncontested. Therefore, if you file quickly, you will only need to wait until the PA divorce waiting period You can’t get your case finalized until this 90-day waiting period for divorce in PA passes. It is the time when spouses can review their decisions and see if they change their minds.
- When there is no agreement, getting a divorce in Pennsylvania takes 6-12 months on average. The timing depends on the number of contested issues, the willingness of spouses to try mediation, and the court schedule. More arguments always imply a lengthier timeframe.
Usually, spouses get their Pennsylvania no-fault divorce finalized in 4 months if they have no disputes and are willing to cooperate until the end of the process. This time frame includes PA no-fault divorce waiting period, which is 90 days. It can take a bit longer if the court is overloaded or spouses need time to reach an agreement on some matters.
Note that if you are getting a divorce based on an irretrievable breakdown of marriage, you must be separated, without living together, for at least 1 year before filing. It’s not a requirement when you’re divorcing based on mutual consent.
How Long Does a Mutual Divorce Take?
A mutual consent divorce in PA can be finalized in under 4 months, including the 90-day waiting period and the time needed for serving the papers and obtaining Acceptance of Service (30 days). If the court is not overloaded, you can end your marriage officially as soon as 3 months pass.
In order to get a mutual divorce in PA as soon as possible, the spouses have to:
- Ensure they meet the residency requirements of the state.
- Agree on assets and finance division, alimony, child custody and support, etc.
- Complete and file the necessary paperwork quickly.
- Get the respondent to sign an Affidavit of Consent soon after the service.
- File the required final forms with the court.
You will also need a Marital Settlement Agreement covering the decisions you and your spouse made when it comes to your property, businesses, children, finances, and any other aspects you discussed. The judge will review your paperwork and grant you a divorce without a final hearing necessary.
How Long Does Online Divorce Take?
Couples who have decided to divorce by agreement can get a quick divorce in Pennsylvania with the help of an online divorce provider. Companies like ours offer their help in preparing court-approved forms suited for different cases. Our service also provides a detailed filing guide along with a packet of documents, which helps the petitioner successfully cope with the filing process.
All you need to do is fill out a simplified questionnaire on our website, and you will receive the filled-out documents in 5 days. Working with us will save you time and resources since you won’t have to do the lengthy search for documents on your own or try figuring out what the forms ask of you. Besides, you will know all the steps you need to take to finish your divorce in PA.
How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take in Pennsylvania?
A contested divorce in PA generally takes around 6 months. When the disagreements between spouses are hard to resolve, or there are a lot of them, the legal process may last for years. What can extend your contested divorce?
1) Cooperation With the Lawyer and Their Workload.
If you are planning to file for a contested case, you will have no other option but to hire an attorney who will represent you in court. You will have to spend a certain amount of time meeting with the lawyer, discussing your case, and waiting until they go through the divorce steps. If your attorney is generally very busy, it may delay the process.
2) The Unwillingness of the Spouses To Cooperate.
If the parties face issues trying to reach a consensus, they may have to get a mediator or have their lawyers mediate, which will take some time and money. If this procedure does not help, spouses should be ready to spend months in court battles. Besides, if the court hearing your case is continuously busy, each of your trials may be scheduled weeks from another one.
3) Child Custody And/or Support Disagreements.
Like many other states, PA is extremely cautious with divorces involving children, and courts always consider the children’s best interests their top priority. Therefore, it will take much time for a judge to make a decision and hear all the witnesses and experts who can influence it. It will also take lots of effort for both parties to prove that they are the best fit for custody, especially if it is sole.
If there are some serious disagreements about child support due to the financial situations of the parties or the growing needs of children, spouses may need to have a child support assessment. One of the parties may hire a financial expert from the Child Support Agency who will check the spouse’s finances and present the results of the investigation to the court.
Alternatively, parents may hire a child support estimator who can calculate the amount of support needed for a child and each parent’s share. They will take insurance, income, and other factors into account, as well as consider potential increases as the child matures. The calculations will take some time and research before the results can be presented to the court.
4) Issues Related to Property and Assets Division.
The more property and assets you have, the more time it will take to review how each can be divided. If you didn’t manage to agree on the division before the trials, the judge has to make this decision based on the evidence parties present. You may thus need to hire different experts, for example, real estate appraisers or forensic accountants, in order to assess the property and determine if your spouse is hiding certain assets.
Alice Lafountain is an author of books about divorce, marriage, and relationships. She is a widely known relationship expert with a family law and psychology background. Alice has contributed to many popular blogs, and her work can be seen on websites such as Divorce Magazine and Women’s Divorce. Her articles cover her personal advice and support for couples seeking a divorce. In her free time, she enjoys photography, traveling, and trying new restaurants.