LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney David Benjamin Ross | Feb 19, 2011

Pennsylvania Uncontested Divorce - Perspective of a Potter County Lawyer

Pennsylvania Uncontested Divorce Lawyer Potter County, McKean County, Tioga County, Cameron County, Elk County

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

In Pennsylvania divorces are either contested or uncontested. If a divorce is uncontested, the both parties agree on a divorce and agree on how to divide up assets and debts. In Pennsylvania, you can obtain a no-fault divorce in as little as 90 days. If either party does not consent to the divorce, then the law requires that they wait two years before divorcing unless fault grounds such as adultery can be proved.

Is it Right for Me?

If you both parties agree to the divorce and agree on how to divide up debt and assets, then an uncontested divorce will work well for you. When the documents are drafted, it is not necessary to allege any fault grounds such as adultery that might otherwise end up in the Divorce Complaint for all the world to see. Uncontested divorces are also much cheaper, allowing you to preserve assets and save money. They are also much less adversarial, which minimizes stress and allows the parties to continue talking to each other which can be very important if there are children involved.

Should I use an Attorney?

It’s a fair question. After all, why pay for a lawyer if you don’t need one. There are web sites that offer divorce kits, but you get what you pay for. The documents are confusing and are not always accurate. There are also several key procedural considerations in how and when to file documents along with certain notices that are required. The truth is that at our law firm we have had many people come in after paying for a kit and find that they still need an attorney to help them. When this happens, they end up paying more than they would have if they had just come in to begin with.

In a divorce you really should have a property settlement agreement that is tailored to your needs. If you own property or have a retirement, you absolutely need a well-drafted agreement. If you fail to reach and file an agreement you are asking for trouble when you try to sell your property, when you retire or when you try to change your retirement plan. You will also need a deed transferring the property to the party who is receiving the house.

What about the Super Low Cost Divorces Offered by Some Attorneys?

You get what you pay for. In Pennsylvania you get one shot to get everything right. We have been hired on more than one occasion to try to fix the mess created by the low cost attorneys. The truth is, it is difficult if not impossible to fix the mistake. The other issue that we have found is that the advertised price is not the true cost. Some of these services charge you $20 or more per question if you have questions. The other problem that we have seen is that if it gets complicated at all or anything becomes contested then the law firm will dismiss the complaint and you have to start all over again. That means you have to pay the filing fee and attorneys fees again and the 90 divorce period starts again. It’s just not a good deal for anyone involved.

Where to File

The cost to file divorce actions varies by county in Pennsylvania. Many actions are filed in Cameron County, but currently Potter County, PA is the cheapest county in which to file.

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