The lengthy process of filing for divorce is a big hurdle for many couples in Pennsylvania. They have to file various divorce papers to get things done. However, online divorce has made it easier for couples in Pennsylvania to get a divorce quickly. You can use the services of online divorce sites to help minimize the length of your divorce. The online divorce process is straightforward and efficient.
The online divorce process in Pennsylvania
Filing for a divorce is never an easy decision for anyone. However, some circumstances force people to end their marriages in the form of a divorce. If you have decided to file for a divorce, you have to go through the divorce process. The traditional method is quite lengthy, which is why more couples now opt for a quick and affordable uncontested divorce using online services instead of an attorney. The online process is a simple and straightforward way to get all the divorce documents required for filing a divorce in a court without paying much from the comfort of home.
Online divorce service providers will send you state-approved and guaranteed divorce forms completed based on your case’s details at a reasonable price. These forms are just a few clicks away. You can download your completed forms from your chosen service provider’s website or have them mailed to you. All that is left for you to do is sign and file the documents at the court.
How does the online divorce process work in Pennsylvania?
Different states of the US have different legal requirements related to getting a divorce. In Pennsylvania, you need to sign-up on the website you’ll use to receive your divorce forms. The platform will ask you to answer some questions related to your case. Using the information you provided, the online divorce service will select and fill out the necessary forms for your case. The court-ready documents will be made available online, usually within 2 – 3 days, for you to download and print. After signing the forms, you can send them to the court through the mail, fax, or in-person following the online divorce service’s instructions.
Before signing and filing, you should review your forms to ensure that nothing needs to be changed or edited. The best online service providers are very reliable and will even guarantee court acceptance, but it is still good to check everything to avoid unnecessary delays. The most important advantage of the online divorce process is that it nullifies the need for an attorney for your divorce.
Divorce Laws and Requirements in Pennsylvania
Before deciding to file for a divorce in Pennsylvania, you must be aware of the laws and requirements related to divorce. Different states and counties have rules and regulations. You must fulfill these requirements and obey the laws to make your divorce legitimate. Let us discuss some key requirements in this regard in Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania residency requirements must be fulfilled for the state to have jurisdiction over the proceedings. One of the spouses must be a resident of the county and state for at least three months before filing for a divorce in Pennsylvania. Those serving in the military get special considerations in terms of residential requirements.
The Grounds Requirements
The candidate for divorce is required to give a reason for filing a divorce. Grounds for divorce fall under two categories: Fault and No-Fault.
As the name suggests, no-fault grounds do not require the spouses to prove the other spouse’s fault for the marriage’s breakdown. That is why it is the preferred method for couples looking for a speedy and less costly divorce. In Pennsylvania, the only no-fault ground is “irretrievable breakdown.” If both spouses agree that the marriage cannot be prepared and divorce is the only option, the case can move forward immediately as an uncontested divorce. However, if one spouse doesn’t want the divorce, a two-year waiting period living separate and apart without cohabitation is required.
Fault-based grounds must be proven in court by providing evidence and testimony. If you choose a fault-based ground, it would require hiring attorneys to help argue your case. So fault-based divorce is, by default, a more lengthy and expensive option. Fault-based grounds in Pennsylvania include:
- Spouse was already married
- Forced marriage through coercion or threat
- Incurable sanity
- Not of legal age at the time of marriage
- Violence or cruelty
- Willful desertion
- Imprisonment for more than two years
The petitioner must have to provide sufficient evidence for its chosen reason to file for a divorce. You will consult an attorney or lawyer specializing in divorce to get a ruling from the court in your favor.
Requirements for custody of children
The court does not give preferences to either party in terms of custody of children. Several aspects determine whether the mother should keep a child in her custody or the father. In the absence of a parenting plan presented to the court by the spouses, the court will decide based on the best interests of a child or children. Here are some of the factors that are considered by the court:
- Health, safety, and well-being of a child
- Nature of contact with both parents
- Amount of contact with both parents
- The ability of both parents to provide for a child
The court conducts an appraisal to determine how much money will be needed to support a child. The parents are bound to pay child support from their wages.
Property Distribution Requirements
In the absence of a settlement agreement between the spouse, the court does its best to divide the property between both parties as equally as possible. Before division, it must first be determined which property is separate and which is marital property. Separate property, which consists of property owned by just one spouse before the marriage and any gifts and inheritances received by only one spouse during the marriage, stays with the original owner. All marital property is divided equitable, though not necessarily equally, between both spouses.
Each party has a right to request mediation to resolve conflicts. In some cases, it is required to get a mediator before the beginning of the divorce process. Mediation is a cost-effective way of reaching a compromise to avoid a costly trial, allowing the case to move forward more quickly.
Divorce Cost in Pennsylvania
The cost of any divorce in Pennsylvania starts with the filing fee, which is mandatory for all divorce petitioners. This is the fee paid to the court at the time of filing. Each county has different fees, but typically the cost ranges from $300 – $450. Couples that can’t afford the filing fee can apply for a fee waiver.
Beyond the filing costs, the divorce price will vary greatly depending on the type of divorce and services used. An entirely do-it-yourself divorce will have minimum costs beyond the filing fees (notary costs, service fees). Online divorce document preparation services cost from $139 – $2000 depending on the scope of services they offer. Attorneys charge an average of $250 per hour. Additional fees could include mediation, financial experts, appraisers, counseling, etc.
Contested cases can cost $15,000 or more, mainly due to attorney fees. In contrast, uncontested cases can typically be kept in the $500 – $2500 range. So it pays to work with your spouse to have an amicable divorce.
Uncontested Divorce in Pennsylvania
An uncontested divorce is a quick, less-expensive process of getting divorced in Pennsylvania. The couples have to meet specific requirements to become eligible for an uncontested divorce. It is also known as a “no-fault divorce” or a “mutual consent divorce.” In this way, the couples can get a divorce in as little as 90 days. Here are some requirements to become eligible for an uncontested divorce:
- Ground for divorce is Irretrievable breakdown.
- Both spouses agree to the divorce.
- Both spouses sign an affidavit to ensure their consent for the divorce.
In uncontested divorces, there is no requirement for a formal hearing in the court. You should resolve all financial issues with your partner before filing for a divorce. You can file for a mutual consent divorce whether you and your partner have children together or not. You can resolve the child support and child custody issues later on.
The process of getting a mutual consent divorce is very simple. Here are some important steps in this regard:
- File a complaint
- File proof of service
- File affidavits to ensure consent
- Finalize the divorce
The divorce process in Pennsylvania can be straightforward and affordable if you have an uncontested divorce and opt for affordable and efficient services like online divorce. The online divorce service provider such as pennsylvaniaonlinedivorce.com will handle all the divorce document preparation quickly and guide you on filing the required forms. You do not need to go to an attorney’s office or even leave your home. It is a cost-effective and efficient way of getting all the necessary documents for your divorce. Deciding to divorce is not easy, but once you’ve made that choice, online divorce is an easy way to get things done quickly and effectively.