NOTICE: The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.
In Pennsylvania, there are three divorce options used by attorneys and their clients to get divorced. Two are No-fault types of divorce and the third is “Fault” method of getting divorced.
Prior to 1980, Pennsylvania was a “fault” state. As such, in order to get divorced, one spouse had to prove that the other spouse was “at fault” for the divorce and that the spouse who wanted the divorce was not at fault, and was, in fact, “innocent and injured” according to the statute. From a practical point of view, how often, in a marriage, is it that one party is completely and solely at fault and the other party has absolutely no fault? Rarely. The problem was that husband and wife would file for divorce, go into court and hurl all sorts of insults and blame on each other. If the court found that both parties were at fault, the court would deny the request for a divorced and these parties, who just insulted, slandered and embarrassed each other in court by revealing the deepest, darkest secrets of their marriage, would be forced to remain married to one another. How practical was that?
In 1980, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a “no-fault” statute, with the hope of rectifying this horrendous system.
FAULT: Fault remains “on the books” in Pennsylvania. To prove a fault divorce, one must prove on of the statutorily prescribed causes, such as abandonment, extramarital affair, inability to have sexual relations, physical abuse and so on. Again, one party must be at fault and the other party “innocent and injured”. Since it takes “two to tango” in most marriage breakups, this system continues to be riddled with flaws.