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How can you file for divorce in Pennsylvania?

The divorce procedure in Pennsylvania is very strict, so knowing that you've turned in your paperwork correctly or taken the time make a claim in the right ways is important. If you fail to file for alimony, a division of property, or other aspects of divorce, you could lose your right to a claim once your divorce proceeds beyond the initial claim that you file. Here's a few tips for getting started, but as always, it's important to speak with someone educated in divorce law if you're unsure of how to proceed.

The first step of getting a divorce starts with filing a complaint. This complaint has to be filed with verification and notice to defend and claim rights paperwork. Your divorce filing must also be paid for at the time when you file, unless you've been granted a divorce without fees by applying for monetary assistance.

The next step in your divorce is when you serve this paperwork to your spouse. This paperwork needs to be delivered within 30 days if you both live in Pennsylvania or within 90 days if you are in two separate areas. If your spouse consents to the divorce, you must wait 90 days from the date he or she signs the paperwork. Then, you can file an Affidavit of Consents to move forward with the divorce process.

If your spouse does not want to sign the paperwork, then you have to follow a different path to divorce. If you've been separated for two years, you can still file for divorce following the serving of the paperwork. However, if you have not been, then you need to wait until you've been separated for two years before you can file for divorce.

Source: PA Courts, "Divorce Procedure," accessed June 02, 2015

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