Choosing The Right Type Of Divorce In PA

Divorce Decree and Gavel

Even the most amicable divorce can have its ups and downs. One of the most important things to consider is which type of divorce will protect your rights and interests. Our attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad serve all types of family law clients throughout eastern Pennsylvania. We can help you understand your options for types of divorce in PA so you can make decisions that best meet your needs and circumstances.

No-Fault Divorce

No-fault divorce is the most common type of divorce in PA. In a no-fault divorce, whether one or both spouses committed wrongdoing is irrelevant. The majority of no-fault divorces are by mutual consent, which means both parties state that the marriage is irretrievably broken and agree to divorce in a sworn affidavit. This type of divorce can be finalized after 90 days. Many family law attorneys charge an affordable flat fee for uncontested no-fault divorces that don’t involve issues such as property division, alimony, or child custody.

In some cases, one party may file for divorce and claim the marriage is irretrievably broken and the other spouse may not agree. This type of divorce case typically requires a court hearing, but it is still considered a no-fault divorce.

Regardless of whether one or both spouses consent, when division of property, child custody and support, and alimony are involved, it’s critical to have an attorney help you resolve these matters and create a formal divorce settlement agreement. This ensures that everything is done by the book and you have an agreement that is legally binding.

At-Fault Divorce

At-fault divorce requires a spouse to demonstrate that the other spouse caused the breakdown of the marriage. Adultery, cruel and barbarous treatment, domestic abuse, desertion, bigamy, and incarceration are all considered grounds for an at-fault divorce. This type of divorce can get messy.  Differing opinions about matters like child custody, alimony, and property division can throw a wrench in the divorce process and result in lengthy court battles that may have a negative impact on the whole family. Having your divorce attorney handle communications and negotiations with your spouse and their lawyer can help you resolve these differences in a way that reduces emotional upheaval for everyone involved.

Is No-Fault Divorce Right For You?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to divorce. The type you choose will depend on your specific circumstances. You may want to opt for no-fault divorce by mutual consent if:

  • You and your spouse are separating by mutual agreement
  • You don’t have children or own property
  • You want to dissolve your marriage in an affordable, timely manner

You can still choose no-fault divorce if you own property or have children, or even if one spouse isn’t amenable to splitting up. Regardless of which scenario applies to your situation, having an attorney help you file and draft a settlement agreement that outlines the specific terms of your divorce makes the process much easier. 

Is Fault Divorce Appropriate In Your Case?

If you believe your spouse has committed adultery or other wrongdoing, fault divorce is an option to consider. However, you must provide evidence that your spouse’s actions were the cause of the collapse of your marriage, which can be challenging. If your spouse contests their fault, you may be in for a long-haul battle. Whether you are accused of wrongdoing or your spouse has filed for fault divorce, having an experienced divorce attorney by your side is essential to protecting your rights and interests.

What Compromises Are You Willing To Make?

Another thing to think about is the concessions you’re willing to make. Asking yourself the following questions can be helpful.

  • Do you have a specific idea of what property division will look like? In Pennsylvania, courts use the concept of equitable distribution to divide property, which means it may not be a straight 50/50 split. Are there any assets you may be willing to compromise on?
  • What do you consider fair as far as receiving or paying spousal support and alimony?
  • Are you willing to work out a custody and visitation agreement that you can both live with? The major issue to consider here is the well-being of your children.

Before you file for divorce, make a list of the conditions and terms that are non-negotiable, and those you may be flexible on. This can help you and your attorney determine which type of divorce to choose and come up with a strategy that protects your interest and your family’s well-being.

Contact A Divorce Lawyer In Eastern PA To Learn More

At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, our family law attorneys have extensive experience in conflict resolution and help make the divorce process as straightforward as possible. Call us at 610-867-2900 or contact us online to learn more about types of divorce in PA, schedule a confidential consultation. We have multiple locations in Bethlehem, Allentown, Stroudsburg, and Topton, PA. Our divorce lawyers serve families throughout the Lehigh Valley and the Pocono Mountains region.

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