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What Is No-Fault Divorce?

There are two types of divorce in Pennsylvania — fault and no-fault. The vast majority of divorces in PA are no-fault. Parties must give sworn affidavits stating that the marriage is irreparably broken. If you and your spouse are on good terms and have no children or property, Thomas, Conrad & Conrad provides uncontested no-fault divorce for only $995.00 plus the divorce filing fee, which is paid to the court. This affordable, expedient option can help both you and your spouse move on with minimal conflict.

What Are Grounds for Fault-Based Divorce?

When filing for divorce on fault grounds, you must prove that your spouse engaged in misconduct that led to the divorce. Adultery, abandonment, cruelty, including domestic violence, humiliation, bigamy, and conviction of a crime and imprisonment for two years might be grounds for a fault divorce.

Does Fault Affect Property Division?

Although either spouse’s fault is not considered by the court when making decisions about property division, misconduct may be taken into account when deciding whether to award alimony.

Can I File for Legal Separation in Pennsylvania?

Although Pennsylvania does not recognize the concept of legal separation, the date of separation is important to determine the division of marital assets and other matters. You do not need to live physically apart to consider yourselves separated. One spouse must have lived in PA for at least six months before filing for divorce in Pennsylvania.

What If My Spouse Will Not Consent to Divorce?

When one spouse refuses to consent to divorce, you may still proceed in most cases. Under Pennsylvania law, the required waiting period is one year following separation.

How Are Marital Assets Divided?

Pennsylvania applies the concept of equitable distribution of property in divorce cases, but this does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split. The court considers what is fair when dividing marital property. This determination is based on several factors, including the length of the marriage, each party’s earning capacity, custody of minor children, and the age and health of the parties. 

How Are Spousal Support and Alimony Determined?

In Pennsylvania, spousal support — or alimony pendente lite — is awarded to the lesser-earning spouse while the divorce is pending. It’s usually determined using a mathematical formula based on both parties’ monthly net incomes.

Will I Have to Pay Alimony?

Whether or not one spouse must pay alimony after divorce proceedings depends on several things, including:

  • Duration of the marriage
  • Standard of living established during the marriage
  • Both parties’ sources of income
  • Age of both parties
  • The physical and emotional health of both parties
  • Earning capacity, educational level, vocational skills, and employability
  • The contribution of one party to the other party’s education, training, or increased earning power

How Long Does Divorce Take?

An uncontested, no-fault divorce can be finalized in as little as 90 days, while a contentious divorce involving court proceedings can take years. Our family law attorneys are strong advocates of conflict resolution methods, such as mediation, to help clients resolve issues, reduce emotional trauma, and avoid costly court battles.

Do We Need an Attorney If Our Divorce Is Amicable?

Conflict can arise in even the most cordial parting. If things should get heated or negotiations break down, a divorce attorney can help you resolve them while ensuring your rights and interests are protected as well as moving the process along.

It’s also essential to have a lawyer help you draft a divorce settlement agreement if children or assets are involved. This vital document sets out the terms of your divorce, including division of property, assets and debts, issues surrounding child custody and support, and the rights and responsibilities of each party.

It’s important to have an experienced divorce lawyer help you draft this vital document to ensure that its terms are consistent with Pennsylvania’s uncontested divorce law. Parties who reach an agreement are not required to appear in court to have a divorce decree issued.

Contact A Lehigh Valley Divorce Attorney

At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, we understand that dealing with divorce can be overwhelming, even in the best of circumstances. Our compassionate family law attorneys are here to help you get through this challenging time so you can move on to the next chapter of your life.

If you have questions about our divorce FAQs or would like to schedule a consultation, contact us online, call us at 610-867-2900 in Bethlehem, or contact one of our offices in Topton, Stroudsburg, and Allentown.