Divorce should not be confused with annulment, which declares the marriage null and void; with legal separation (a legal process by which a married couple may formalize a de facto separation while remaining legally married) or with de facto separation (a process where the spouses informally stop cohabiting).
Divorce, also known as “dissolution of marriage,” occurs when a marriage is legally terminated. Divorce law governs the sometimes complicated process of divorce, helping to determine how property and assets are divided as well as who will have custody of any children the couple may have.
A no-fault divorce is much less complicated than a fault divorce. In a no fault divorce there is no need for evidence or proof of wrongdoing. Instead, any legally recognized reason for divorce is acceptable. Generally, “irreconcilable differences,” or the mere inability to get along, is considered a valid reason for no fault divorce. This means that the other spouse cannot prevent his or her partner from filing for divorce. By challenging the decision, he or she only lends merit to the fact that the couple does not see eye to eye.
Under Pennsylvania’s no-fault method, a divorce decree can be processed as soon as ninety days after the filing and service upon the other spouse of a divorce complaint if both spouses will consent to the entry of the decree. If one spouse fails to consent to the entry of the decree, a no fault decree can be entered if the marriage is irretrievably broken and the spouses have been separated for at least two years. With regard to the date of separation, please be advised that there is no such thing as a legal separation in Pennsylvania. In fact, in some circumstances, spouses can be separated even if they continue to reside in the same household.