When pursuing a divorce, you will need to assert certain grounds for your divorce during the process. The permitted grounds are set forth in a statute and an attorney can help you decide which ones are appropriate for your individual circumstances. Our divorce attorneys at Shemtob Draganosky Taylor explain the different grounds for Pennsylvania divorces.
If you pursue a no-fault divorce, you will need to assert is that the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no chance of reconciliation.
No-fault divorces are often attractive for couples seeking a peaceful divorce, as they will not need to prove specific grounds for a fault-based divorce. Many people also find that even in a less peaceful divorce, it is still cost-effective and time-effective to file for a no-fault divorce. There are two types of no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania: mutual consent divorce, and separation-based divorce.
Mutual Consent Divorce
A no-fault mutual consent divorce may be obtained under 23 Pa.C.S.A. §3301(c). In these cases, the court will grant a divorce where the marriage is irretrievably broken, 90 days have passed from the date of service of the divorce complaint, and the parties have each filed an affidavit of consent to divorce.
A no-fault separation divorce may be obtained under 23 Pa.C.S.A. §3301(d). In these cases, the court will grant a divorce where the marriage is irretrievably broken, and an affidavit has been filed by one of the parties alleging that the couple have lived separate and apart for a period of at least one year and that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The other party is given the opportunity to object, but the divorce will be granted if either: (1) the other party does not deny the allegations set forth in the affidavit or (ii) the other party denies one or more of the allegations set forth in the affidavit but, after notice and hearing, the court determines that the parties have lived separate and apart for a period of at least one year and that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
There are six grounds for a fault-based divorce. Only one of the following six grounds must be proven by the filing party:
● The plaintiff was willfully and maliciously deserted by their partner for at least one year,
● The plaintiff discovered adultery by their spouse,
● The plaintiff suffered cruel and barbarous treatment,
● The plaintiff learned their spouse was already legally married at the time of their marriage,
● One party is sentenced to imprisonment for at least two years, and
● The plaintiff’s life is burdensome and intolerable as a result of continued marriage.
If the filing party seeks a fault-based divorce, there is a high burden of proof required for their selected ground. They will need to present their evidence to the court, which can often be an emotional experience as they present their traumas. This process is also expensive as a separate trial is required to prove the fault grounds.
Mental Institution Divorce
Individuals can also pursue a divorce if their spouse is institutionalized for at least 18 months, and there is no reasonable expectation by the treating medical professionals that the spouse will be discharged within the following 18 months. This type of divorce is often difficult to pursue, as the treating medical professionals will need to provide written documentation regarding the inpatient party’s medical condition and expectations.
Blue Bell Divorce Attorneys
At Shemtob Draganosky Taylor, our divorce attorneys understand how stressful it can be to begin the divorce process. During your initial consultation, we can help you select the right divorce grounds for your situation and move forward with the filing process.
Are you planning on filing for divorce but unsure which grounds to select? Schedule a consultation with our experienced divorce attorneys by calling (215) 544-3974 or contacting us online.