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  • Writer's pictureSeth Eric Springer, Esq.

How Long Does A PA Divorce Take?

Divorce can be a difficult stage for an ex-couple. The divorce process may take 4 to 6 weeks or years. Learn how long a PA divorce takes in this article.

The following are the types of divorce in PA and how long they take.

Types of Divorce in PA

Types of Divorce in PA

No-fault divorce

A no-fault divorce occurs if both parties have a mutual wish to dissolve their marriage. This type of divorce quickly proceeds if the couple agrees to custody arrangements, property settlement, and support. No-fault divorce in PA comes in two types.

No-fault divorce is obtained if the couple is two years separated before filing or both of them have consented to the divorce. In Pennsylvania, no-fault divorce is not instantly granted by a judge. After filing, there is a 90 days waiting period before finalizing the divorce.

Fault-based divorce

Fault-based divorces in PA can proceed more quickly compared to no-fault divorce. The grounds for fault-based divorce are:

l Cruel and barbarous treatment

l Desertion (one spouse is absent for at least a year)

l Bigamy

l Adultery

l Imprisonment for at least two years

l Indignities like public shaming, emotional or verbal abuse, severed debt, and mistreatment

Even though at-fault divorce can proceed more quickly than no-fault divorce, it can be costlier too in terms of costs, attorney fees, and emotionally.

Fault impacts the divorce in PA. The bad actions of the spouse in the marriage can affect the divorce. For example, the courts in PA divide the property based on different factors, including:

l Prior marriage of either spouse

l Marriage length

l Health, age, employability, education, needs, and liabilities of each of the spouses

l The economic situation of each spouse

l Any contribution by one spouse to training, education, or increased earning power of another spouse

However, there is an exception in the rule if one of the spouses wasted or misused marital funds without consent. These may include drug addiction, gambling, buying lavish gifts for a lover, and more. In these situations, the judge can offset the spouse’s waste of marital assets against her or his property award.

Separation divorce

Separation divorce needs the consent of one spouse and can be the only option available if the other party cannot be found or refuses to agree. The court will grant the divorce to the party seeking it unilaterally if they are separated for two years.

In case one spouse was institutionalized for mental health reasons for 18 months or more, the other can seek a no-fault divorce.

Mutual consent divorce

If the divorce complaint was served, filed, and consented to by the couple, there is a 90-day waiting period for them to work out child support, child custody, distribution of marital assets, and spousal support or alimony. If the parties don’t agree with these issues, they may litigate, which takes more time since the court’s docket requires.

Uncontested divorce proceedings

Uncontested is a term used if the couple agrees to a divorce. In addition, both parties agree on a resolution to problems arising from the marriage dissolution like child support, child custody, distribution of marital assets, and spousal support. Uncontested divorce also arises if both parties wish to divorce, but it still needs litigation of these issues. The divorce process can be extended with litigation.

If the parties don’t want to delay the divorce due to litigation, parties who can’t resolve their differences may consider divorce mediation. They should seek help from an expert mediator.

The type of divorce can be a big factor in how long the divorce process may take. During the divorce process, it is essential to seek help from professional attorneys from a top divorce law firm in York PA to handle the divorce of the couple who wish to end their marriage. With that, the divorce can proceed quickly and be more convenient for both parties. In this way, the couple can have a peaceful and less stressful separation by having an agreement.


To sum it up, several factors will determine how long a PA divorce takes. These include if both parties agree on who pays for the divorce, child custody, division of marital debts and property, spousal support, and child support.

Couples in PA can be divorced in three months or litigate marital problems for years. Couples who wish to resolve issues from the dissolution of their marriage can seek help from a professional.

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