Montgomery County Divorce Lawyer
Under Pennsylvania law, divorce can happen in multiple ways. The time it takes for the divorce process to resolve can vary based on your individual circumstances. With nearly four decades of experience with family law matters, Montgomery County divorce lawyer Lauren H. Kane has helped clients through every type of marriage dissolution allowed, including uncontested petitions and high-net-worth complex divorces. Learn some important facts below on how Pennsylvania divorces work. Contact the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane if you are considering filing for divorce in Bala Cynwyd or Montgomery County, or if your spouse has already served you with divorce papers.
Filing for Divorce in Montgomery County
The divorce process varies by state. Here in Pennsylvania, the divorce process starts when one party files a petition with the prothonotary in the county where one or both spouses live or where you have both agreed to have the matter handled. There is a legal requirement that one spouse is a Pennsylvania resident for at least six months before filing a petition.
The party filing the petition will serve a copy on the other spouse, who has the opportunity to file an answer to the allegations put forth in the divorce petition. The court could hold a hearing to decide whether there is any reasonable chance of reconciliation. If not, the judge will continue the case for at least 90 to 120 days, or longer, by agreement of both parties. The court may require the couple to attend one or more marriage counseling sessions (three maximum) upon either party’s request. Or, the court may require it if they have a minor child under the age of 16.
Grounds for Divorce
Pennsylvania allows for several “no-fault” grounds for divorce. That means one spouse doesn’t need to prove misconduct on the other spouse’s part to proceed with a divorce. The main no-fault grounds are:
- Mutual Consent: If both spouses consent, the court might grant a divorce 90 days after filing the petition. There are multiple steps required here, including the marriage is irretrievably broken, completion and filing of required affidavits, and you must have a Property Settlement Agreement.
- Institutionalization: If one spouse has been confined to a mental institution for the prior 18 months or longer due to a serious mental disorder or insanity, and there’s no reasonable prospect of them being discharged in the next 18 months, you can file on the grounds of institutionalization.
- Irretrievable Breakdown: The court could grant a divorce because both parties have lived apart and separate for at least one year and declare the marriage is irretrievably broken. Usually, both parties agree to this, but sometimes the court could hold a hearing to determine whether these facts exist.
If either spouse wants to proceed with an at-fault divorce, there are several different grounds. However, the filing spouse will need to prove the other spouse’s misconduct. Common grounds for a divorce include:
- Cruel and Barbarous Treatment
- Conviction of a Crime (with two years or longer prison sentence)
- Indignities that render conditions intolerable and our life is burdensome
Contact a Montgomery Divorce Lawyer
If you need assistance with a Pennsylvania divorce, let attorney Lauren H. Kane help. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. Don’t assume that if you’re filing an uncontested divorce, you don’t need help. The Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane is here to help protect your rights in any type of divorce.