A military divorce is a process that allows members of the military to legally end their marriage. In Pennsylvania, the process is similar to a civilian divorce, but there are some important differences.
Types of Divorce in Pennsylvania
There are two main types of divorce in Pennsylvania. These include:
a. A Fault-Based Divorce
A fault-based divorce is a type of divorce that is based on the fault of either spouse. In this instance, a spouse must prove that the other spouse was responsible for causing the breakdown of the marriage. This can be done through evidence, such as written documents or witness testimony.
The grounds for fault in a fault-based divorce are typically as follows:
- one spouse is serving jail time or over two years;
- one spouse did not share responsibility for creating a healthy relationship;
- one spouse was emotionally or physically abusive;
- one spouse deserted the other for at least a year;
- one spouse cheated on the other;
- one spouse has committed bigamy.
A fault-based divorce may be contested or uncontested.
b. A No-Fault Divorce
In Pennsylvania, divorce can be achieved through the mutual consent of both spouses. This type of divorce is also known as a no-fault divorce. There are some exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, couples can get divorced without needing to have any conventional reasons for going through with the divorce proceedings. One reason why this category of divorce is becoming more popular is that it can be finalized relatively quickly.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you are considering divorcing by mutual consent in Pennsylvania. First, make sure you and your spouse are on the same page about what you want out of the split. Second, make sure you have an attorney on hand to help draft and execute the final agreement – a mistake can easily result in additional costs down the road.
What Types of Divorce Can a Service Man or Woman File for in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, a person who is serving in the military can file for a divorce based on either fault or no-fault grounds. Fault-based divorces occur when one spouse believes that the other has committed an act that constitutes grounds for a divorce. If you believe that your partner has committed such an act (e.g. by being promiscuous), you can file for a fault-based divorce. No-fault divorces occur when both spouses agree that their marriage is irretrievably broken and there are no pending financial matters between the parties. If this applies more to you, you can also file a no-fault consent divorce application.
Legal Requirements for Spouses Who Wish to Get a Divorce in Pennsylvania
In order to obtain a divorce in Pennsylvania, both spouses must meet certain legal requirements. One of the most important things to note is that at least one of the spouses must have resided in Pennsylvania for at least six months before filing. Another requirement is that the divorce petition must be filed in the county where that spouse lives.
After fulfilling these requirements, you may then decide whether to file a fault-based or a no-fault divorce.
Things to Take if You are Considering a Military Divorce
If you are in the military and you are considering a divorce in Pennsylvania, there are certain steps you should take. These include:
a. Speak to an Attorney
If you are in the military and are considering a divorce in Pennsylvania, an experienced lawyer can give advice on the best way to go about your separation and divorce. A lawyer can help navigate the legal system, identify potential benefits and risks associated with various options, and provide support throughout the process. In addition to providing counsel, a lawyer can also serve as a mediator if you wish to negotiate some terms of your divorce with your spouse. Such terms might include spousal support, property division, etc.
b. You May Need to Speak to Your Spouse
If you are considering a no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania, it is important that both you and your spouse are on board with the decision. In this instance, you may need to speak with them about the divorce. Make sure that you are both on the same page. If your spouse is unwilling to cooperate, you may need to file for a fault-based divorce.
Things to Note if Your Partner Wants a Divorce You While You are on Active Duty
When you are on active duty and your partner wishes to divorce you, there are a few things to keep in mind. These include:
a. You Have a Right o Put Divorce Proceedings on Hold if You are in Active Service
If you are currently in active military service and you are served with divorce papers, remember that there is a duty to your country first and foremost. As such, service members have a right to put divorce proceedings on hold if they are in active service. This privilege is granted through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act has statutes that cover civil cases, such as divorce.
According to this Act, members of the armed forces can put off having to deal with issues relating to divorce for the entirety of their time spent on active duty and for an additional 60 days after that service has ended.
b. You Have a Right to Allow the Proceedings to Continue Without Any Input From You
In continuation of point (a.) above, it is important to note that the service member might choose to forego the privilege that puts their divorce proceedings on hold. However, these situations should be discussed with an attorney prior to making any decisions. They will be able to advise you on whether suspending proceedings is a good idea in your case and what potential ramifications may result.
All in all, if you are in considering divorce in Pennsylvania and have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer at our firm. We can help you get a stress-free divorce whether you are married to a military member or not.