Divorce in Pennsylvania is as difficult emotionally as divorce anywhere. Breaking up is hard to do, like the old song reminds us, and it is even more so when there are young children involved. But if you are filing your papers in the Bucks County docket, starting the procedure is relatively simple. In many cases, you can use Bucks County e-file to start your divorce, but how long it will take after that depends entirely on many factors. These include whether you and your spouse agree on divorce terms or require a full divorce trial and court ruling on critical divorce issues.
Divorce in Pennsylvania
In most counties in Pennsylvania, a divorce procedure begins with the filing of a complaint for divorce and other requisite documents. The complaint is generally a one-page document and not difficult to complete. It lists the names of the parties. Pennsylvania has two no-fault grounds for divorce, mutual consent and one in which the issues are contested. For the former, both spouses must agree that the marriage is over and agree on a marriage settlement. There is a 90-day waiting period.
If divorce issues need to be resolved or one party doesn't consent to the divorce, there is a one- or two-year separation requirement, the shorter period applying to those who separated in 2017 or later. You can also seek a divorce based on fault of the other party, like desertion, adultery or cruelty.
For no-fault divorces, simply state whether the marriage will be ended under 3301(c) of the Pennsylvania divorce code, which is "mutual consent," (meaning that both spouses are in agreement) or under 3301(d) of the Divorce Code, which is "irretrievable breakdown."
Bucks County has adopted a new local Rule 3.7A for the electronic filing and service of legal papers. If you and your spouse agree to a divorce in Pennsylvania, the initial paperwork is easy and can be filed online. The primary requirement is that one of the two of you resides in Pennsylvania and has for at least six months.
Bucks County Docket Divorce
If you are filing for divorce in Bucks County, you should go to the court or its website and obtain a divorce packet. This will contain all of the required documents, like a verification form, a form showing notice to defendant and an affidavit that the other spouse is not in the military. In Bucks County, you must also attach a certification of compliance, a form you can find on the court website, as well as a proposed divorce decree. Complete the documents and send or deliver them to the county courthouse. The address is Office of the Prothonotary, Bucks County Courthouse, 55 East Court Street, Doylestown, PA 18901.
You will need to pay the filing fee when you file the initial papers in the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas. Currently, the fee is under $400 and must be paid by check, money order or cash.