Differences Between Fault and No-Fault Divorces

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You don’t just wake up one day and decide to have a divorce. Couples will often make the decision to divorce after they’ve realized over a period of time that their relationship is no longer salvageable.

When you find yourself in a position to prepare for a divorce, you should immediately seek an experienced attorney who can offer the legal representation you need to protect yourself from further harm.  

Your lawyer will make sure that you aren’t taken advantage of during this vulnerable time. Before anything else, you’ll need to decide if you would rather move forward with a fault divorce or a no-fault divorce. Each of these options has its pros and cons, which we review below.

What You Need to Know About Fault Divorces

Fault divorces are pursued when one spouse has done something to harm the marriage. This could be due to one spouse committing adultery, deserting the marriage for a minimum of one year, being sentenced to two or more years in prison, or doing anything to endanger you or make your life intolerable in any way.

At first, many soon-to-be divorced couples want to proceed with a fault divorce because, let’s be honest, you want it to be known that you were innocent in the demise of your marriage. While that may be true, it can often be the more difficult path to follow from a legal standpoint, as a fault divorce is far more expensive and takes a great deal longer to finalize than if you chose to move forward with a no-fault divorce.

Alternatively, filing a fault divorce can be especially helpful if you are going to be seeking spousal support. It’s worth noting that fault is irrelevant to the equitable distribution process in Pennsylvania.

When a No-Fault Divorce Is a Better Option

In most cases, the better option for divorce is a no-fault divorce. Here, both parties are simply saying that their marriage has broken down due to irreconcilable differences and you have agreed to part ways. If both parties agree, this is known as an uncontested divorce, and it can be finalized in as little as ninety days once your affidavit of consent has been signed.

You’ll also be granted a no-fault divorce if one spouse has contested the divorce but you’ve been separated for a minimum of one year. While PA doesn’t recognize legal separation, making note of the date that you stopped acting as a married couple will begin the start of your separation and make it that much easier to obtain the no-fault divorce you’ve sought.

Consult with a Pennsylvania Divorce Lawyer

When you’re gearing up for your impending divorce and want to ensure that you receive what you’re entitled to, work with an experienced Pennsylvania divorce lawyer at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C. With our firm by your side, you can rest assured that we will stop at nothing to make sure that you are treated fairly throughout the divorce proceedings.

Call our office at 1-844-VARI-LAW (827-4529) or complete the quick contact form we’ve included at the bottom of this page to schedule your initial Pennsylvania divorce consultation today.