Pennsylvania Divorce FAQs

If you're considering divorce in Pennsylvania you may be wondering how to get it started. Divorce can be confusing and stressful, but having a knowledgeable, compassionate lawyer on your side can help you understand your rights.

I am attorney Michael E. Eisenberg and I use more than 25 years of experience in family law, as well as a history of proven results, when handling divorce cases. Below are some common frequently asked questions about divorce and the answers to those questions.

Q. What's the difference between "contested" and "uncontested" divorce?

A. A contested divorce is one that ends up in court due to the inability of the parties to agree on the terms of the divorce. These may include custody, visitation, support payments, property division or something else. In an uncontested divorce, the parties agree on all these specifics and do not need to have their differences litigated in court. We can help you determine how best to proceed depending on your unique situation.

Q. What is a "no-fault" divorce?

A. When fault is established, the party who's at fault due to infidelity, cruelty, desertion, addiction, mental illness or being sent to jail, may end up with a worse deal. In a no-fault divorce, neither party is being charged with any wrongdoing. Rather, both parties simply agree they want to be divorced. However, no-fault divorces should not be confused with uncontested divorces. No-fault divorces can take years to complete, depending on whether the parties agree or disagree on the asset distribution, alimony and other issues. Consult with me and discuss the specifics of your situation for a better idea of your options.

Q. How long does a divorce take?

A. The time it takes for you to become officially divorced varies depending mainly on how much of your case needs to be litigated before a judge. The state of Pennsylvania requires a 90-day waiting period after the initial complaint is filed. After that, if both parties file an affidavit of consent, a judge can issue a decree as soon as he or she is able. A no-fault divorce can be final in as few as five to six months, whereas a contested divorce may drag on for years. If one spouse does want a divorce and/or will refuse to sign divorce papers, Pennsylvania law currently requires a two-year separation before concluding a divorce without the consent of that spouse.

Q. Who pays the attorney fees?

A. The court decides who will pay attorney fees, if that is an issue. This may be done in a preliminary fashion, then changed when the judge issues the final order or if one party is noncompliant with the terms of the divorce.

Q. Do I have to go to court?

A. No. Many divorces resolve with negotiation and never see the inside of a courtroom. Many matrimonial and family cases are resolved after a conference with a Master or judge on a particular issue that the parties and their attorneys are unable to resolve.

Get More Answers To Divorce FAQs Today

Discuss any aspect of your impending divorce during a free initial consultation with me, attorney Michael E. Eisenberg. I serve communities in and near Hatboro, Bucks County and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Call my office now at 267-728-4535 or 800-851-2534, or contact me online.