While there are many different reasons why couples decide to separate, there are also many different guidelines to be aware of while going through the process. Being educated about what factors qualify for a divorce can help to make the process of a divorce go easier on both partners. Being prepared is never a bad thing.
It is surprising to most people that after finalizing a divorce, the division of property and belongings may not split equally. It is common to think that both people worked and helped to build a life together, so they should both share in the benefits equally. However, this is not the case in Pennsylvania. Judges in Pennsylvania get to divide properties and belongings in an equitable manner. This occurs on a case-by- case basis, depending on the judge and the county they're in.
For example: some judges may consider factors, such as the length of the marriage, the financial stance of each spouse, expected income after divorce of each spouse, how much each of them contributed to the marriage, age of each spouse and expected expense after the divorce, etc.
Must live in Pennsylvania for 6 months
Before filing for a divorce, spouses need to adhere to Pennsylvania's geographical residential guidelines. It is required for one of the spouses to have lived in Pennsylvania 6 months prior to filing for a divorce. Another requirement before filing for a divorce is that it needs to be in a county where one of the spouses reside.
Pennsylvania also has requirements on what can lead to divorce. These requirements fall into 2 categories, at fault and no-fault divorces. A divorce request may fall into the at fault category if it is evident that someone is to blame. If placing blame isn't necessarily the reason for a divorce, no-fault divorces can occur.
At fault divorces include:
- Someone committing adultery
- Conviction of a crime and going to prison for 2 or more years
- Making the life of the other spouse unbearable
- Endangering the life or health of the other spouse
- Purposefully abandoning the other spouse for a year without a probable reason
No-fault divorces include:
- Mutual consent
- One of the spouses admitted to a mental institution for 18 or more months
- Both spouses have been living separately for 2 or more years. A broken marriage is something one of them or both agree on
The thought of going through a divorce alone can be intimidating and draining, so knowing exactly how to make this process easier can help alleviate some of the added stress. Becoming familiar with Pennsylvania's unique divorce guidelines will certainly help individuals to prepare for this challenging time.