When you and your spouse agree on all terms of your divorce, your case doesn’t have to turn into a long drawn out court trial. In fact, you can get a divorce over the internet from the comfort of your own home. Online divorces are more straightforward, quicker, and cheaper than a traditional divorce. This is the right option for you if you want to move on with your life as fast as possible.
Even if you have shared assets and children, filing for divorce online is still possible. As long as you can come to an agreement on the division of your assets and the custody and care of your children, an online divorce companycan prepare the documents and help make your divorce process more simple.
Do You Need A Divorce Lawyer?
In Pennsylvania, you don’t have to have a divorce lawyer. State law allows you to represent yourself, referred to as “pro se”. Filing for a divorce without an attorney is called a do-it-yourself divorce or DIY divorce for short. However, if your case is contested, this option is not recommended.
In uncontested cases, choosing a DIY divorce can make completing the process faster and far less expensive. Depending on the circumstances of your case, representing yourself can be a good idea.
For couples in Pennsylvania that want the advantages of a DIY divorce without the hassle of the paperwork, PennsylvaniaOnlineDivorce.com is a perfect option. This inexpensive service will complete all your forms for you, saving you from all the stress associated with divorce paperwork. Your completed divorce document kit will be customized following the unique requirements and laws of Pennsylvania and specific details of your case. So you’ll receive exactly the documents that you need.
What Is A Do It Yourself Divorce?
A do it yourself dissolution of marriage is when you and your spouse go through the divorce with no help from a lawyer. This is a general term that includes formally ending a marriage, dividing the finances, and making arrangements for the children. This is a legal process that requires following a specific procedure.
Are You a Petitioner or a Respondent?
The petitioner is the person who files the divorce petition. Therefore, this is the person who initially pays for the divorce. However, you and your spouse can choose to share the divorce fees to get the process started faster. If the petitioner is going for a fault-based divorce, they can ask the respondent (the other spouse) to pay the fees.
Sometimes, the petitioner wants a divorce but the respondent doesn’t agree. In this case, a cost hearing will be necessary. During the hearing, the respondent will argue why they shouldn’t pay the fee. A financial assessment will occur and the judge will decide how much both spouses will pay.
Three Steps To Get A Divorce Online In Pennsylvania
Grounds for a divorce online are the same as they would be for any other divorce. This is simply the reason for divorce, and it should be approved by the state. For example, the spouses have filed affidavits that they both want a divorce. According to Pennsylvania law, you can get a no-fault or a fault divorce.
Step One: Residency Requirements
Getting a divorce in Pennsylvania is easy if you meet the residency requirements. You or your spouse must live in the state for 6 months or longer before you can apply for divorce. As a plaintiff, you can file in the county where either you or your spouse lives.
There are several simple ways to prove your residency. The first one is to have a valid Pennsylvania ID card, driver’s license, or voter’s registration. If you don’t have any of these documents, you can have someone who knows you testify that you’ve lived in Pennsylvania for six months or longer. You may also use an Affidavit of Corroborating Witness form as a proof of your residency.
Step Two: No-Fault or a Fault-Based Divorce
There are two types of divorces in Pennsylvania: a no-fault and fault based. The difference being the grounds for divorce that you choose.
No-Fault Divorce In Pennsylvania
There are two types of a no-fault divorce. One is “irretrievable breakdown” which just means that the marriage is broken and cannot be fixed. As a no-fault ground, neither spouse has to prove the fault of the other for the breakdown of the marriage. This is the option that should be used if you want to have an uncontested divorce, where you and your spouse have agreed on everything and neither of you takes the blame. A standard waiting period for this type of divorce is 90 days, after that your marriage can end. During this time, you can work out a settlement, or else legal actions may be necessary.
The second type is a two-year separation, which also requires consent from one spouse. Both of you should live apart for at least two years, and then the divorce is finalized.
Fault-Based Divorce In Pennsylvania
In a fault-based divorce, one spouse accuses the other of engaging in some type of misconduct that has led to the breakdown of the marriage. The state of Pennsylvania recognizes the following grounds for fault-based divorce: adultery, imprisonment for two years or longer, desertion, cruelty, bigamy, and humiliating the spouse in such a way that makes the marriage intolerable. When choosing a fault-based ground to end the marriage, the petitioner will have to prove the misconduct in court. This will make the cost of divorce higher because of the increased filing fees and other court costs.
Step Three: Filing Divorce Papers
The third step is filing the divorce papers. You will need to complete a short questionnaire which will be used by PennsylvaniaOnlineDivorce.com to select and fill out the necessary forms for you to apply for divorce. The completed divorce forms will be available online in as little as 2 days. All you have to do is print and sign the paperwork.
Once you’ve received and signed the papers, you should send them to your spouse. The spouse then signs the papers to say she/he has received them.
When you use Pennsylvania Online Divorce you will also get detailed, easy-to-follow court filing instructions. This is a great do-it-yourself solution that allows you to end your marriage without an attorney.
Child Custody and Child Support In Pennsylvania
Child custody can be initiated as a separate proceeding from the divorce. Before initiating any action, you and your spouse should agree on a suitable custody arrangement and visitation schedule. If you can’t do it, the court will determine child custody for you based on the best interests of the child.
Child Support is determined in Pennsylvania using standard child support rules and regulations. Both parents’ gross incomes and some child related expenses will be considered when calculating child support. The support will continue until the child reaches the age of 18, but can be extended until the completion of secondary education.
As with custody, the parents can come up with an arrangement for support on their own, and so long as it is fair and inline with the expectations of the court, it will be approved. If the parents can’t come up with a fair arrangement on their own, the court will decide for them.
Either or both parents can be ordered to provide child support based on their ability to pay and several factors which include:
- the net income of both parents;
- the earning capacity of both parents;
- the assets of each parent;
- and any special or extraordinary needs or expenses of the child and/or parents.
Spousal Support In Pennsylvania
Alimony, also known as spousal support, can be ordered by the court to help a dependent spouse to live a life similar to the manner established during marriage. In determining the amount to be awarded, if any, the court considers numerous factors, including:
- the need for support;
- the ability for the spouse in need to become self-sufficient and find employment;
- the ability for the other spouse to pay support
- if the spouse in need is the main caregiver of a child.
Decisions on alimony payments are ordered by The Domestic Relations Section of the court.
Property Division In Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state. Therefore, property division will be performed equitably, without regard to marital misconduct. Equitably does not necessarily mean equally, as the goal of the court is to establish a division of marital property that is fair for both parties. Only marital property is divided by the court. Separate property stays with the original owner. This includes:
- gifts or inheritances received by just one of the spouses;
- property acquired by one of the spouses before marriage;
- property acquired in exchange for any of the aforementioned separate property.
Both spouses are required to submit an inventory of their property. Online divorce is a quick option for couples to finalize a divorce. Preparing documents online in Pennsylvania is becoming more and more popular because it is convenient and affordable.