A no-fault divorce means that neither party is asserting that the other party did something wrong. Instead, the assertion is that the marriage is simply irretrievably broken. In Pennsylvania, a no-fault divorce may be granted after a waiting period of 90 days provided both parties consent to the divorce at the conclusion of the waiting period. This waiting period is often referred to as a cooling-off period. It is utilized to give the parties an opportunity to reflect on the severity of the decision to get a divorce and/or seek marital counseling to see if the relationship can be saved. The 90-day waiting period begins to run from date of service of the Complaint in Divorce.

At this point, almost half of the states have some waiting period between when you file and when you can be divorced however, there does not appear to be any correlation between the length of the cooling off period versus the rate of divorce. New Jersey and Arkansas have longer waiting periods for a no-fault divorce. New Jersey has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country while Arkansas has one of the highest divorce rates. Pennsylvania does specifically indicate its policy behind the mandatory waiting period is to “encourage and effect reconciliation and settlement of differences between spouses” as the “protection and preservation of the family is of paramount concern.” 23 Pa. C.S. 3102.