Can your spouse stop you from getting a divorce in Pennsylvania?

| Feb 3, 2021 | Divorce |

You know your marriage is unhealthy, and you want out. Your spouse, on the other hand, refuses to even consider the idea.

“Marriage is for life,” they say, and they won’t even talk about it any further. Does this mean you’re stuck? Not at all.

Mutual consent is only one way to end a marriage

In Pennsylvania, a “no-fault” divorce is called a divorce by mutual consent. When both parties agree that the marriage should end, the process is generally quick and easy. You can each give the court an affidavit that shows your consent and, theoretically, be done with your marriage 90 days after you file your petition to divorce.

But that’s far from the only way to end your marriage. You can also ask the court to give you a divorce based on the irretrievable breakdown of your relationship with your spouse — and that can be granted despite your spouse’s objections. Naturally, it’s a more time-consuming process. You have to live separate and apart from your spouse for at least a year before the divorce can be granted.

You can also ask the court to grant your divorce “for cause,” based on the idea that you are an injured spouse. This means that you must allege that your spouse either:

  • Deserted you without any justifiable reason for a year or longer
  • Engaged in an extramarital affair
  • Treated you cruelly and endangered your health or life
  • Has been sentenced to two or more years in prison
  • Entered into the marriage fraudulently
  • Created intolerable conditions for you

In any case, there is a way out — even if your spouse objects to the idea and won’t accept your decision.

Seek help with your complicated divorce

When you’re facing a divorce that looks as if it will turn complicated, don’t try to handle it alone. A knowledgeable attorney here in Du Bois can help you explore the choices you have and explain the strengths and weaknesses of your position.