On October 4, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill into law that potentially affects pending Divorce cases all over Pennsylvania. Previously in cases of divorce where one person wants the divorce and the other party does not, the party who wants the divorce cannot obtain one until two years after the date of separation. The mandatory two-year waiting period has created a lot of problems for people wishing to get divorced, including legal fees for attempting to move the process along quicker. The initial goal for the two year waiting period was to allow people the chance to reconcile. On the contrary, the requisite waiting period has arguably in many cases, only served to cause more resentment towards the party who will not consent.
The new Pennsylvania Law cuts that time in half! The required waiting period is now 1 year after the date of separation. This new law will serve to eliminate much of the stress that comes along with the process of Divorce for most people. It remains to be seen how the newly implemented law is going to impact people who were already separated prior to its passing. This likely will cause different courts to handle this situation in different ways, ultimately if and until the issue is presented to the Superior Court (at which point those people will likely reach two years anyway). Nevertheless, eliminating what has become a painful and unnecessary waiting period for many people who are seeking a divorce is going to serve to prevent stress and lower legal fees for many people.
If you have recently separated and are wondering how this new law is going to impact you, or if you have questions about filing for divorce or even determining what your date of separation is, contact our Pennsylvania Divorce Lawyers today!