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What are the 4 types of divorce in Pennsylvania?

If you are thinking about ending your marriage, you are far from alone. In fact, the current divorce rate in the U.S. is 2.7 per 1,000 population. This means about 2,400 couples decided to call it quits every single day.  

While you may think of divorce as a single process, there are actually four types of divorce in the Keystone State. Which one is right for you likely depends on a few factors, including your ability to reach a settlement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.  

1. Mutual consent

The most popular method for ending a marriage in the commonwealth is a mutual consent divorce. With this type of divorce, both parties agree to the divorce. You and your husband or wife may negotiate a separation agreement and divorce settlement, which the judge is likely to honor.  

2. One-year separation

If your spouse refuses to consent to the divorce, you can physically separate. Then, after two years have passed, you can file for divorce. One-year separation divorce is a type of no-fault divorce, meaning you do not have to blame your spouse for the end of your marriage. 

3. Fault-based

Even though many states have adopted no-fault divorce, Pennsylvania law still allows couples to proceed with a fault-based one. With this approach, you must show your spouse did something wrong. The acceptable grounds for fault-based divorce in Pennsylvania include the following: 

  • Adultery 
  • Abandonment 
  • Incarceration 
  • Endangerment 
  • Mistreatment 

4. Mental impairment

If your spouse has a mental disorder that requires him or her to spend time in a mental hospital, you may file for divorce under Pennsylvania law. For this route to be open to you, however, your spouse must have been in the mental hospital for at least 18 months or need to stay there for at least that long.  

Regardless of the type of divorce you choose, the result is the same: your marriage is legally over. Ultimately, though, before ending your marriage, you should fully understand the advantages and drawbacks of each type of divorce in the Keystone State.