“How long does a divorce take in PA?” and “How much will it cost?” are the two most frequently asked questions I receive regarding Pennsylvania divorce. While at least one of my clients was divorced in just four (4) days, 2 to 4 weeks is not at all unusual. Let me briefly explain.
If the two of you have been living at completely different residences for at least the last year, your divorce does not have to have the required 90 waiting period as part of it. If a lawyer cannot think “out of the box”, one-year separation divorces have a 20-day waiting period beginning when your spouse receives copies of the divorce documents. How does a divorce attorney think “out of the box” and keep it legal? By carefully reading the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure (PRCP) and using those rules to his clients’ advantage. Long ago, I created a special document for spouses to sign allowing the 21-day period to be legally eliminated.
I gather the necessary information from you, the client, (just the basics: Names, addresses, dates and place of the marriage and separation, for example), prepare the divorce for your signature (Original signatures are required by law and emailed or faxed signatures are unlawful and the Court stopped other lawyers from using them many months ago no matter what you may read at other websites.) I then file the divorce and get the other spouse’s signature by ordinary mail. Once I have that signature, I have what I need to send the Judge the request to grant the divorce and end the marriage.
No attorney can control how quickly the parties to the divorce, the postal service, or the Court will act. I control only what goes on in my office. Unlike other lawyers, my law practice is devoted exclusively to low-cost, simple, uncontested, no-fault divorces. No other type of legal work slows down my divorce clients’ cases. In addition to my basic service, I offer three faster services, and a one-year separation divorce (also called a 3301(D) divorce) can take as little time as three to four weeks. If you have been separated less than one year, just add in the 90-day waiting period for the minimum possible time for that type of case (also called a 3301(C) divorce).
All of my clients always know, by simply reading updates along the way, exactly what is going on with their divorce actions. Pennsylvania enacted no-fault divorce in 1980 at which time I put into action the simplest, easiest, lowest-cost way of handling these cases on a state-wide basis with no travel, no appointments, and no court appearances. No other law firm has anywhere near my level of experience or simplicity of the process. No one’s case is left behind. The fact that half of my clients are referred to me by other clients proves that.
Beginning your divorce process is a very big and important step in your life and I know it is not an easy one. Many times in our lives we face things with which we must deal sooner or later. Knowingly or unknowingly, we sometimes throw up emotional roadblocks to help us delay facing getting started on that “project” we know we will have to begin sooner or later. We wonder about it, ask questions and wait for answers to justify the delay to ourselves and even allow ourselves the luxury of thoughts about the future and how nice it will be to finally have put it in our past. Just like jumping into a swimming pool. We know it will be cold, but we also know we will feel so much better once we’re in. We see all of the other swimmers who have already jumped in and are happy that they did. That tells us it is something we too can do so we hold our nose and close our eyes and jump! Within a few seconds, we are wondering why we delayed so long and may even feel a little embarrassed for having delayed. After all, we knew we’d immediately feel better once we were in and everyone else had already taken the plunge and were happy they had.
Starting your divorce can be like taking that plunge into the pool. The prospect of it may be a little unnerving, but so many others have not only started their divorce actions, before they knew it, it was over and their unhappy marriages were in their pasts and they now had their shot at a fresh new life. Once they had begun their divorces, they could see the light at the end of the tunnel. They look back and wish that they had begun sooner. Yes, it was a big step, but it really is not at all complicated or scary. Read this, sign that and it’s not much money and I can pay as I go. So, what was the original question? Oh, Yes…how long does a divorce take in Pennsylvania? A whole lot less time than I thought, especially now that I have begun. And I didn’t even have to get wet at all!
Take the plunge. I promise it will be an easy, simple process. No anger, no blame, no one’s fault. Just read and proceed to your new life.