Separation and Divorce
There is no “legal separation” in Pennsylvania. An option for making the transition to a divorce go more smoothly is the Final Separation Agreement.
In this document, the parties agree to finalize the separation of all personal and marital assets and liabilities. This document may be attached to the Final Divorce Decree and may be filed with the Court.
Preparing a Final Separation Agreement may help to avoid protracted legal proceedings.
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 acceptable and both parties sign Affidavits of Consent, the Court will grant a divorce three (3) months after the service of the Complaint on the other party.
If only one spouse wants a divorce, then the parties must live separate and apart for a period of at least two (2) years. Then a divorce may be granted if the court determines that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Protection From Abuse petitions and orders are designed to protect individuals and/or their children from abusive relationships of any kind. A PFA petition is filed and an Emergency Temporary Order follows. Within ten (10) days, a Final PFA Hearing is scheduled to determine whether a temporary order should be extended for ninety (90) days, one hundred eighty (180) days, or up to thirty-six (36) months.