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Is there such a thing as a default divorce in PA? My husband wants a divorce but I will not sign the papers because I believe

Havertown, PA |

we will be able to work out our differences. There has not been a period of physical separation, we are still living together. He says if I refuse to sign the papers and do not contest it in court, we will be divorced by default. I am not in a position to pay legal fees. Is that true?

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

To answer your question, PA allows a unilateral divorce after two years. By refusing to sign a consent form, you can make your husband wait two years. It does not matter if you still live in the same physical space. You will be considered separate and apart for divorce purposes if you have ceased living like a married couple. You may also demand marriage counseling. For this, you must file a petition. Your county prothonotary should help you file that petition.

Brian Edward Sipe

Brian Edward Sipe


I should add that no "default" divorce exists in the statutes. He will have to serve you with papers telling you what is going on, and you will know when he is filing for a 3301d divorce, ie, a no fault without consent divorce, when he sends you Notice of Intent to File Praecipe to Transmit.


I agree with attorney Sipe's answer. I would simply add that you should go to your domestic relations office and file a claim for alimony pendente lite (APL). This will require your husband to pay you for the remaining two years (if he makes more than you) and may change his tune.

The APL money should allow you to hire an attorney to protect your economic interests before the conclusion of this divorce.

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