Divorce is a growing topic in today’s society and has been expanding since the colonial times.  Believe it or not, there was a time when divorces were controlled by the church.  This was a great way to deter divorce because no one wanted to ask their priest to end a marriage.  Like it or not, our country was founded on some principles of religion, and the preservation of marriage was one of those principles.  Therefore, States still try to make divorce difficult.

That said, in most states, there are two different ways to get a divorce:  Contested and Uncontested.

What is a Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce is by far the hardest to achieve.  This type of divorce arises when you want to get a divorce, but your spouse does not.  First, you have to be able to point to some grounds for your divorce.  This includes abuse, arrest, or if your spouse is declared insane.  Next, if you have to achieve your divorce through a contested action, Pennsylvania requires you to live separate and apart from your spouse for TWO years.  That means no sharing of housing and no sexual relations with your spouse for the entire two years.  Only then will the Court consider whether you have adequate grounds to grant your divorce.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is much easier . . . if you can get your spouse to agree to a divorce.  If you both agree that a divorce is the best course of action, then you only have to live separate and apart for 90 days before the court will grant you a divorce.  The court looks at the 90 day period as a “cooling off” period during which you may work out your issues and decide to stay married.  Also, you don’t have to claim any specific grounds for the divorce.  An uncontested divorce is based on a principle of “irreconcilable differences”.

Along with the filing for a divorce, you may ask the court to consider other matters such as Custody, Support, and Property Distribution.  However, those are separate from the divorce action and the court will charge you additional money for those cases.  If you have a short term marriage without a lot of assets, it is probably most cost efficient to simply ask the court to grant you the divorce and go your separate ways.

If you are seeking a divorce, or your spouse has filed a divorce, give me a call at 412-209-0657, and ask for Matthew Becker.  I understand the burden of divorce and will represent you throughout the process.  I also understand that divorces can be nasty and costly.  Therefore, I do my best to provide the benefits of legal representation without charging large legal fees.