Category Archives: Mutual Consent Divorce

Residency Requirement for Divorce in Pennsylvania

In most parts of the United States, people cannot move to a new state and file for divorce shortly afterwards. Instead, most states require that people meet what is called the “residency requirement” before they can file for divorce. Does Pennsylvania have a residency requirement? Yes, like most other states it does. In order to file for divorce in Pennsylvania, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing. Additionally, the spouse who files for divorce must file the papers in the court where the other spouse lives. This is not usually an issue because in many cases, the spouses live in the same county at the time of filing for divorce, but not always. If you wish to file for divorce and your spouse now lives in a different county than you, you have options. You can file for divorce:

  • In the county where you both lived while you were married providing you have lived in the same county continuously since you separated from your spouse,
  • In the county where you live as long as your spouse agrees to it, or
  • In the county where either of you currently live if neither of you still live in the county that you lived in when you were married to each other.

If you wish to file for divorce and your spouse moved out-of-state, you may file in the county where you live. Since travel can get expensive, the family courts in Pennsylvania have several filing options available so spouses can minimize the travel associated with obtaining a divorce.

No-Fault Divorce in Pennsylvania

At Cairns Law Offices, we help people obtain low-cost, no-fault divorces throughout Pennsylvania. If you and your spouse are willing to reach an agreement on matters pertaining to child custody (where applicable),property and debt division, we would be happy to help you achieve a quick, expedient divorce.

To learn more about our divorce services, contact us today!


Are you contemplating divorce? If you decide to take the plunge, in your divorce papers you will need to indicate on what “ground” you are divorcing. In other words, you must note the reason why you’re filing for a divorce. In Pennsylvania, spouses can file for divorce on both fault and no-fault grounds.

If a spouse wants to file a “fault” divorce, he or she is essentially accusing the other spouse of engaging in some sort of misconduct, for example, they are saying that their spouse committed adultery, or they walked out on the marriage for at least a year, or they committed domestic violence.

A spouse can file for a fault divorce on the following grounds:

  • Adultery
  • Bigamy
  • Abandoning a spouse for a year or longer
  • Spousal abuse, or another form of cruelty
  • Convicted of a crime and sent to prison for at least two years
  • Humiliation to such an extent, it makes marriage intolerable

Does misconduct impact property division?

This is a good question! Generally, judges do not consider misconduct, such as committing a crime, or family violence, or cheating when dividing property, however, a judge is entitled to consider a spouse’s misconduct when they are deciding whether or not to award spousal support or alimony.

No-Fault Divorce: a Better Way

A fault-based divorce can lead to costly litigation and a protracted divorce. Often, fault-based divorces are more stressful on all involved and they can literally drain the marital estate. If you want to avoid a full-blown court battle, you may want to consider the benefits of having a no-fault divorce instead, even if your spouse made his or her share of mistakes.

When you file a no-fault divorce, you are not blaming your spouse, at least not “on the record.” You’re not airing your dirty laundry; you are filing your divorce on the ground of “irretrievable breakdown,” which means your marriage is broken beyond repair, period.

In Pennsylvania, there are two types of no-fault divorce. A mutual consent no-fault divorce and irretrievable breakdown without mutual consent. The first is self-explanatory and by far, the most ideal of the two options.

With a mutual consent no-fault divorce, you and your spouse agree that your marriage is irretrievably broken, and you both agree to get divorced. In a mutual consent divorce, you can obtain be divorce as soon as 90 days after the divorce action is filed.

No-Fault Divorce Without Mutual Consent

If you want to end your marriage but your spouse refuses to consent to the divorce, you could file a no-fault divorce, however, you would have to file an affidavit with the court stating that you have lived separate and apart from your spouse for at least two years before the court could grant you a divorce.

If your spouse is willing to agree to a divorce, we recommend filing a no-fault, mutual consent divorce. This way, you can achieve the most cost-effective divorce possible and you can begin the next chapter of your life as a divorced person within a few months of filing the divorce papers.

Learn all about our affordable, no-fault divorces by contacting our firm directly!


In the Pennsylvania legal system, people have the right to represent themselves in criminal and civil cases, but that does not mean they should. You’ve probably heard about criminal defendants firing their public defenders or private criminal defense attorneys and representing themselves, and as we all know, that never ends well. Is divorce any different?

From a legal standpoint you are entitled to represent yourself – this is called “pro se,” which means “on your own behalf” in Latin, but the practicality of this is highly questionable. If you ask any divorce lawyer, they will say that representing yourself is not a good idea, especially if you’re not an experienced family law attorney.

Would you perform your own dental extraction or heart surgery? Certainly not, and you don’t want to handle your own divorce either. What you would save initially in legal fees would most likely end up costing you dearly in the long-run.

Even in the friendliest, no-fault divorces, there are legal and financial matters that require legal expertise, such as:

  • Taxes
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Property and debt division
  • Pensions
  • Retirement accounts
  • Life and health insurance
  • What to do with the marital residence
  • What to do with a business

When you file for divorce in Pennsylvania, it’s important that you understand your rights and responsibilities in regards to the topics listed above. If you do not handle one or more of these issues correctly, you could be giving up important rights without knowing it, and it’s just not worth taking the risk.

Mutual Consent Divorce in Pennsylvania

Let’s take a look at mutual consent vs. no-consent divorces: Pennsylvania does not operate like many other states, such as California, where you can get a divorce in about six months as long as one of you wants out.

Instead, if a spouse does not want a divorce in Pennsylvania, you have to live separately and apart for at least two full years before the state can grant you a divorce. It’s essentially delaying the inevitable, but until the laws change that’s the way it is.

Most divorce lawyers will attest that the majority of unhappy spouses do not want to wait two years to get divorced. Therefore, it’s considerably more favorable to seek a mutual consent, no-fault divorce. When our clients agree to a no-fault divorce, we can help them obtain a divorce in as little as 30 days, which is one of the shortest waiting periods for a divorce in the nation.

Quality Divorce Services Don’t Have to Break the Bank

When you file for divorce, it’s critical to have an experienced divorce lawyer representing you and looking out for your best interests. If you’ve been afraid to file for divorce because of the legal fees, you don’t have to fret any longer.

At No Contest Divorce, LLC, you can receive quality divorce representation at a fraction of the cost of other divorce law firms. As long as you and your spouse agree to a mutual consent, no-fault divorce, we can help you achieve a quick, affordable divorce in as little as 30 days. If you’re ready to get started, contact us today!