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No-Fault Divorce vs. Fault-Based Divorce in Pennsylvania

Rapa Law Office, P.C. Nov. 26, 2021

Divorce is an emotional experience, regardless of how amicable your situation is. As you prepare to file for divorce, you must decide if you will file for a no-fault or a fault-based divorce.

Whether you file for a no-fault or a fault-based divorce in Pennsylvania depends on the circumstances surrounding the dissolution of your marriage. Learning about the differences between these two legal processes can help you know how to proceed.

No-Fault Divorce

To file a divorce on no-fault grounds, you must confirm that you and your spouse cannot repair the state of your marriage. When you file for a no-fault divorce, neither you or your spouse have committed any severe marital misconduct. You and your spouse must both agree to file a no-fault divorce, but you can also file for this type of divorce on your own after a two-year or more separation.

Fault-Based Divorce

If you want to file a fault-based divorce, you must prove that your spouse has committed some form of marital misconduct. The Pennsylvania General Assembly states that you can file for a fault-based divorce if your spouse deserts you, commits adultery, engages in cruel treatment, commits bigamy or indignities or must serve a prison sentence of two or more years.

Even if you decide to file a no-fault divorce, this process will likely take several months to complete. If you choose to file a fault-based divorce, this process may take longer, depending on the complexity of the case and the charges you file on.