Steps for Simple, Uncontested Divorce
The procedures outlined below are suitable for an amicable divorce where there are no ancillary issues such as equitable distribution, custody or support. First, a Complaint in Divorce must be filed with the court. This may be your local county court or another county courthouse within the Commonwealth provided you consent to their jurisdiction. The difference in filing fees is a reason why you may look into filing outside of your county. Second, the Complaint in Divorce needs to be served on the opposing party. This can be done informally by having the other party execute an Acceptance of Service. Other options include service via certified mail, return receipt requested, restricted delivery or personal service by a process server of the Sheriff’s office.
Third, you must establish grounds for the divorce. For a no-fault divorce this would be either mutual consent of the parties after ninety (90) days or one or more year(s) of separation. If pursuing mutual consent, both parties would need to sign an Affidavit of Consent as well as Waiver of Notice for the divorce. If doing a divorce on the basis of separation, one party would file an Affidavit of Separation with the court and then serve it on the other party with a counter-affidavit to make sure they don’t object to the date of separation. The final step is filing a Praecipe to Transmit for Divorce Decree. This motion details all the prior steps for a divorce have been properly completed and includes the actual form of decree for the court’s signature if the motion is satisfactory.