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Paperwork you need to file for divorce in Pennsylvania

Are you ready for a divorce but are unsure where to start? The complexity and length of the divorce process can make it intimidating to tackle. With the help of a family law attorney, it can be manageable.

The first step is to gather and complete all the necessary paperwork for your divorce. Which documents you need to file may vary depending on your circumstances, but the most common ones are as follows.

Court papers

The forms you need will depend on which type of divorce you are getting:

  • No-fault and mutual consent: You both agree to the divorce and only have a 90-day waiting period.
  • No-fault and nonconsent: Your spouse does not agree to divorce, and you have to wait one to two years depending on the date of your separation.
  • Fault divorce: You want to prove your spouse was guilty of marital misconduct in order to receive more spousal and/or child support or help with your custody case.

The process and paperwork for each are different, but all entail serving divorce papers to the spouse and filing a divorce decree proposal with the court. You will also have to include self-addressed stamped envelopes to receive copies of the final court order.

Financial records

To help with asset division, you will need to gather all your financial records, such as tax returns, bank statements, investments, insurance policies, deeds, titles, inheritances and retirement accounts. You will need to show what is marital property and what is separate. Another asset to consider is valuables, such as collectibles, art or jewelry.

Parenting plan

When children are involved, you may also need to submit a parenting plan when there is a custody dispute. This document outlines the parenting time schedule and important decisions regarding the children's care and upbringing. These may include health care, education, religion, child care, transportation and extracurricular activities. It also addresses what to do when you want to make changes or your spouse is not following the plan.

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