In our family law practice, our lawyers often address questions and misconceptions regarding how long it takes to obtain a divorce in Pennsylvania. While the answer can be complicated, prospective clients are often trying to find the quickest path to achieve one. There are two no-fault grounds for divorce: (1) mutual consent and (2) two-year separation.
If you and your spouse have agreed that you both want to obtain a divorce and the original paperwork is filed, you only have to wait a mandatory 90 day period before the Court will issue a divorce decree. A mutual consent divorce is by far the easiest and quickest route to obtaining a divorce. If, however, one spouse does not wish to get the divorce, the parties must wait a two year separation period before the Court will sign a divorce decree. This policy acts to encourage couples to work out their difference if one spouse is still committed to making the relationship work. If after the two year period, one spouse still wants to proceed with the divorce, the court may issue a divorce without the other spouse's consent.
Therefore, if you are considering a divorce, the only person stopping you from acquiring one is your current spouse. If he or she is on board, you can be divorced as little as 90 days after the filing date. If not, you'll have to wait the two years. However, the above time table does not address any of the other issues that must be resolved in a divorce such as the division of marital assets and alimony. These issues are what hold up most divorces, even if both spouses want it. If you are considering a divorce, you should contact an experienced family law attorney to review your case as soon as you can.