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What if a spouse refuses to sign divorce papers in the state of PA? What recourse does one have?

York, PA |

Filed for divorce over a year ago; husband refuses to sign divorce papers. How can I get away from him?

Attorney Answers 1


In PA, a no-fault divorce can be obtained without the consent of the other party once the parties have been separated for 2 years. Separation can be found even when the parties continue to reside in the same house under certain circumstances, and the filing of a divorce complaint is presumed to start a separation. If there are economic claims involved for property distribution, post-divorce alimony or payment of counsel fees and expenses of litigation, those issues can be submitted to a divorce master in a hearing.

Unfortunately, if you have not been separated for the 2-year period and do not have any of the traditional fault grounds for a divorce (e.g., adultery, physical cruelty, etc.), you cannot force the other person to consent to the divorce. Depending on your circumstances, however, you may have some strategies available to give your spouse incentive to agree to the divorce, including for example a claim for spousal support. You should discuss your options with your attorney.

This general answer should not be construed as legal advice specific to your situation and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is intended for general information only and may not apply to the specific circumstances of your situation. You should always seek individual legal advice before taking any action.

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