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My boyfriends ex(wife) will not sign the divorce papers, and we are having a baby & want to be married. What can we do??

Pottsville, PA |
Filed under: Divorce

My boyfriends "ex" was having an affair that resulted in him leaving her and filing for divorce. After he filed, and moved out of their house completely, she became pregnant from the man she was having the affair with. He & I met in the beginning of April. I never expected him to be the love of my life, and he thanks God every day that his "ex" destroyed their marriage, because he was never truly happy until meeting me. His "ex" was 4 months pregnant when him and I met. It is not August, and I am 6 weeks pregnant. I would love to be married before having the baby, but she will not sign the papers. Keep in mind, she had an affair, and is 7 months pregnant with another man's baby- but will not sign the divorce papers! What can we do??

Attorney Answers 2


In Pennsylvania, if you have been separated less than 24 months, you do need your spouse's cooperation to obtain a divorce. However, once you have been separated at least 24 months, you do not need your spouse's signature. Your spouse can still delay the divorce by making economic claims, however. Occasionally, in instances where one or both of the spouses are expecting children with new paramours, the court will grant a bifurcated divorce upon request. This means that the court will dissolve the marriage and reserve the economic claims for a later date. The process to achieve bifurcation can be expensive, however, and courts are often reluctant to bifurcate divorces. You should discuss your case with an attorney --- there may be other options based on the specific facts unique to your case.

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In PA parties can obtain a consensual divorce after a mandatory 90-day waiting period (following filing of the Divorce Complaint). If one of the parties will not consent, however, there is a two-year statutory waiting period. As explained in the answer above, the parties must have been living "separate and apart" for 2 years before a divorce decree can be requested. Once the two year period has expired either party can provide the required Notices and file the appropriate documents to request entry of a divorce decree. If there are no economic claims the divorce decree can be granted. However, if there are economic claims asserted by either party, one of the parties will have to file a motion to appoint a divorce master (or similar procedure, depending on the county), and those issues will have to be resolved in court. I recommend that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and fully review your options. Good luck.

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