What Are Grounds for Divorce in Pennsylvania?
The decision to file for divorce is never easy. Even if you are sure this is the best move for you and your family, there are many life-altering repercussions of ending a marriage that must be taken into consideration. Not least of which, the actual process of going through a divorce is complicated, expensive, and difficult to navigate.
There are two types of divorce according to Pennsylvania law, fault and no-fault. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognizes the following actions by a spouse as grounds for a fault divorce:
- Willful and malicious desertion for a period of one or more years
- Cruel and barbarous treatment that endangered the life or health of the innocent spouse
- Imprisonment for two or more years
- Indignities to the innocent spouse as to render that spouse’s condition intolerable and life burdensome
- Institutionalization in mental institution for at least 18 months
If your circumstances do not fall under one of the above criteria, you’ll need to file for a no-fault divorce. In the case that you and your spouse would like a mutual consent divorce, it will be granted on the basis that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
A non-contested divorce is when both spouses are able to reach an agreement on all issues, including property, child custody and support, alimony, and any other pertinent points.
Some divorcing couples seek out a divorce mediator. This is a neutral party who presides over the divorce process and who is charged with protecting the interests of all parties involved. Another option is a collaborative divorce. In this case, each spouse is represented by his or her own lawyer, but they each agree not to litigate any issues that may arise. Because the court is not involved, they are able to negotiate their divorce in the presence of their lawyers and once an agreement has been reached, it is filed with the court.
Whatever the case may be, the process is complicated and difficult to understand. Many people try to rush through the process because they think it will be best for their children, they are worried about the cost, or they simply want to put the whole situation behind them. Unfortunately, by speeding through the proceedings, important factors are often neglected or overlooked, meaning that you might fail to protect yourself and your future.
Montgomery County divorce attorney Sheryl R. Rentz understands how devastating a divorce can be. She has the experience and resources necessary to walk you through the process step by step and ensure the best possible outcome for you and your family. Contact the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. at (610) 645-0100 and schedule a free consultation today.