Separation and Divorce
There is no “legal separation” in Pennsylvania. An option for making the transition from being married to being divorced go more smoothly is the Marriage Separation Agreement.
In this document, the parties agree to finalize the division of all of their marital assets and liabilities. This document may be attached to the Final Divorce Decree and may be filed with the Court.
Preparing a Marriage Separation Agreement often will help avoid protracted legal proceedings and the associated costs.
Before you can file for divorce in Pennsylvania, you or your spouse must have resided in the Commonwealth for at least six (6) months.
If the divorce is mutually agreeable, the parties can consent to the entry of a divorce and the Court will grant a divorce in about three (3) months after the service of the Complaint.
If only one spouse is willing to consent to a divorce, then the parties must live separate and apart for a period of at least one (1) year before the court will grant a divorce. Then a divorce may be granted if the court determines that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Protection From Abuse (PFA) petitions and orders are designed to protect individuals and/or children from abusive relationships of any kind. When PFA petition is filed, and an Emergency Temporary Order follows, a final hearing is typically held within ten (10) days. At the final PFA hearing, the court must determine whether a temporary order should be extended for ninety (90) days, one hundred eighty (180) days, or up to thirty-six (36) months.