Is PA a No-Fault State for Divorce? Get the Ultimate Answer
Playing the blame game is a part of getting divorced—after all, there must be a reason you and your partner no longer want to be together. While filing for a divorce based on one spouse’s fault may seem like the best option, your state’s laws might complicate the situation.
Is PA a no-fault state for divorce? Find out the answer and learn when and under what circumstances you should end your marriage amicably. DoNotPay will also help you draw up a marital settlement agreement that will ensure you’ll get fair treatment in the divorce!
You can file for no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania, but the laws of this state enable couples to opt for a fault-based divorce as well. A fault-based divorce is the older type of divorce in Pennsylvania, while a no-fault divorce became an option only after 1980.
A person filing for a fault-based divorce has to prove their spouse’s behavior has caused the marriage to dissolve. Reasons to file for divorce based on fault include:
- Adultery—One spouse having a sexual relationship with someone other than their spouse can be a cause for a fault-based divorce in Pennsylvania. The other spouse has to prove both opportunity and inclination to commit adultery
- Desertion—A spouse abandoning their partner for more than one year without a valid reason (other than to hurt them) is grounds for a fault-based divorce in PA
- Cruel treatment—A person can sue their spouse for a fault-based divorce if they have physically abused them to the point of endangering their health or life. Valid evidence of the abuse include medical records, photos of injuries, and police reports
- Bigamy—If an individual is knowingly married to more than one person, their spouses have the basis for a fault-based divorce
- Imprisonment—A person whose spouse is convicted of a crime and sent to prison for more than two years can sue for a fault-based divorce
- Indignities—This includes any behavior that has made one spouse’s life intolerable, such as emotional and verbal abuse or public shaming
A no-fault divorce implies neither spouse is holding the other one responsible for the marriage ending. Acceptable grounds for a no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania are:
- Mutual consent—Both spouses need to sign an affidavit confirming that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The process involves a 90-day waiting period to ensure the couple will not get back together
- Separation—The couple living separately for one consecutive year can file for a no-fault based divorce
- Institutionalization—If one spouse has been institutionalized for at least 18 months and won’t be released in the following 18 months, the other spouse can file for a no-fault based divorce
Before filing for divorce in PA, you must consider factors such as the cost of divorce and the length of the proceedings. A fault-based divorce provides specific advantages that are essential in situations involving domestic violence or physical abuse, such as:
- No waiting period
- Alimony and child custody rights for the injured party
In cases that are not as critical, filing for a no-fault-based divorce may be a better choice. Take a look at the table below for further clarification:
|Fault-Based Divorce||No-Fault-Based Divorce|
The fastest and most wallet-friendly way to end a marriage in PA is to claim mutual consent and file for an uncontested divorce. To make that happen, you and your spouse have to agree on all divorce terms without a judge’s involvement.
An uncontested divorce requires you to settle all issues with your spouse (alone or via mediation) and outline them in a marital settlement agreement. You don’t need to hire an expensive lawyer or use unreliable online divorce services—DoNotPay can create an enforceable document in the blink of an eye!
All you have to do is sign up with DoNotPay in your web browser and:
- Choose our Divorce Settlement Agreement tool
- Provide details of your settlement to our chatbot
We will use the information you provided to generate a personalized and state-compliant document and send it to you straight away. You and your spouse can even have the marital settlement agreement notarized using our platform—we will connect you to an online notary, and you can set up a meeting 24/7!
Divorces are complicated and impose many questions—from what the average cost of divorce is to which divorce papers to prepare. Get answers to some of the common divorce questions—general and PA-related—in our extensive knowledge base:
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