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Pennsylvania’s Revised No Fault Divorce Code is Now In Effect

December 7, 2016

The October 2016 revisions to the Pennsylvania Divorce Code regarding no fault divorce are now in effect. Prior to the Divorce Code revisions, a spouse was required to wait two years from the date of separation to request a no-fault divorce if the other spouse did not agree to the no-fault divorce. The revisions to the Pennsylvania Divorce Code, have reduced the waiting period in this scenario from two years to one year. A significant rationale supporting these revisions was the goal to avoid the conflict that often ensues during the two year no-fault waiting period. The Divorce Code revisions make it clear that the revisions only applie to “periods of living separate and apart that commence after the effective date” of the revisions. Thus, parties who separated prior to the effective date of the Divorce Code revisions are still required to wait two years for a no-fault divorce if both parties do not agree to the entry of a no-fault divorce decree.

The Divorce Code revisions did not change the 90-day waiting period applicable if both parties agree to a no-fault divorce. Additionally, the Divorce Code revisions did not alter the laws applicable if a party is seeking a fault based divorce.