Divorce after Two Year Separation
After two years of separation, grounds for divorce can be achieved in PA without the consent of the other party. One of the two no-fault grounds for divorce is a two year separation. This separation does not have to mean physical separation. It is legal separation. Legal separation is no later than the date that a divorce complaint is filed. Parties can reside together in the same home while the divorce is pending. After two years, however, from the date the divorce was filed, one party can allege that it has been two years and seek grounds for divorce based on that fact. The other side must actively file a counter-affidavit denying the two year separation or denying there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage in order to stop the grounds for divorce from being entered. If a counter-affidavit gets filed, a hearing will be needed to determine if in fact the two year separation has occurred. Grounds for divorce is only the first step in getting a final divorce. In order to get a final divorce, if claims for equitable distribution or alimony have been raised, an agreement either needs to be put in writing or the parties need to go to a divorce hearing after they get grounds for divorce. This is often why there are cases that take at least three years before they are final, and some much longer.