Not Even Brotherly Love—The Full Guide to Divorce in Philadelphia
If divorce is the route you and your spouse have chosen, the best outcome you can hope for is that the process is fast, cheap, and free from hassle. Philadelphia divorce laws make this possible as long as you can work together and avoid litigation.
DoNotPay has the info you need to get your divorce in Philadelphia finalized in the shortest possible time and at the lowest cost.
There are two types of possible divorce in Philadelphia:
- Fault-based divorce
- No-fault divorce
A fault-based divorce means that you have to prove your spouse broke the marriage contract by committing:
- Abandonment for at least a year
- Domestic violence or cruelty
- A felony that results in imprisonment for more than two years
Fault-based divorces have to be tried in court, meaning that you will have to prove your allegations in front of a judge to be granted a divorce. This can be a long and expensive process.
Most couples looking for a divorce in Philadelphia opt for a no-fault divorce, in which you and your spouse accept that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. For this to be accepted by a judge, you and your spouse must either both consent to the divorce or live separately for two years.
As long as one or both of you have lived in Philadelphia for at least six months before filing for divorce, a no-fault divorce presents the easiest, cheapest, and fastest divorce route.
Filing for divorce in Philadelphia is a relatively simple process and consists of the following steps:
Your first action is to file a complaint for divorce with the clerk of the family court in Philadelphia. This entails filling out several forms, including an information sheet detailing:
- Children or dependents in the marriage
- Joint and individual assets and liabilities
- Income and expenses of both spouses
- Any shared business interests
You can file the divorce papers by mail, in person, or electronically, and the filing fee is $333.73, payable upon filing. Once the papers have been filed, your next action is to serve them on your spouse.
Your spouse needs to receive copies of your divorce filing and sign a form confirming their receipt. After the papers have been served, you and your spouse must wait 90 days before the divorce can progress.
After this time, your spouse can choose to respond to the complaint by:
- Consenting to the divorce
- Signaling their intent to contest it
If your spouse intends to contest the divorce, it will go to trial and could take up to two years to be resolved. If they consent, your divorce can be finalized with no court appearances and no need for lawyers to get involved.
Finalizing your divorce as quickly and easily as possible depends on your ability to reach a settlement with your spouse.
In granting your divorce, a judge will want to ensure that you and your spouse have agreed to a fair and equitable separation and that any children will be looked after adequately.
You and your spouse have 90 days after servitude of the divorce papers in which to draw up a divorce settlement agreement. The agreement should set out how your responsibilities and finances will be divided after the divorce, including:
- Child custody, shared parenting, and support
- Alimony or spousal support
- Allocation of assets and liabilities
If you can agree on a fair settlement, your divorce can be finalized without any court appearances or litigation. A friendly divorce such as this is the easiest and fastest way to dissolve your marriage in Philadelphia.
A divorce settlement agreement is a legal document that becomes binding on both parties after it has been accepted by a judge.
Your settlement agreement needs to be comprehensive and watertight, or it will be rejected by the judge, and your case may have to go to trial, resulting in added expense and time. Your options for drawing up a settlement agreement are as follows:
|Settlement Agreement Resources||Explanation|
|Lawyer||The default choice for many couples is to hire attorneys to negotiate and draw up a settlement agreement. This can quickly become expensive as Philadelphia lawyers can charge between $200 and $400 per hour.
Even if you can’t agree on all the details of your settlement, you may be able to avoid attorney costs by submitting to mediation, in which a trained mediator helps you negotiate an acceptable resolution
|Online||The cheapest option is to use an online provider who can supply a settlement agreement template for you to fill out. You should be careful as these templates are often generic and not suitable for:
DoNotPay can come to the rescue! With our help, you can generate a full, customized divorce settlement agreement that ticks all the boxes without the expense of legal representation!
DoNotPay is here to make your divorce in Philadelphia, PA, as quick and painless as possible! Our Divorce Settlement Agreement feature gives you the best of all worlds—a watertight and comprehensive legal document without the expense of a lawyer!
Here’s how to set your agreement up:
- Sign up with DoNotPay
- Go to our Divorce Settlement Agreement product
- Provide us with the required info
We will take it from there! As soon as we have all the relevant details, we will generate your tailor-made agreement. You and your spouse can sign it and have it notarized, and your divorce can move ahead. Don’t worry if you can’t find a notary in your area—DoNotPay has that covered with our online notarization service.
If you are looking to file your divorce papers in another county in Pennsylvania, DoNotPay has the info you need:
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