Refiling Divorce Papers in PA

By Wayne Thomas

There are several steps involved in obtaining a divorce. In Pennsylvania, the dissolution process can vary, depending on whether both spouses agree to the divorce. Sometimes after the paperwork is filed, new facts come to light or problems surface, resulting in a dismissed case and the need to refile the divorce paperwork. Understanding the divorce process in Pennsylvania can help minimize any delays in getting your divorce.

Paperwork for Divorce

The state of Pennsylvania will grant a no-fault divorce based on mutual consent or following a two-year separation. If it's a divorce based on mutual consent, you must start the divorce process by filing a Complaint for Divorce and serve the complaint on your spouse. In Pennsylvania, you can serve divorce papers by certified mail or process server. After a mandatory 90-day waiting period has passed, both spouses must then submit an Affidavit of Consent and Waiver of Notice of Intention to Request Entry of Divorce Decree. Once received, the judge can grant the divorce. A divorce based on a two-year separation also requires that you file and serve the complaint along with an affidavit indicating that you and your spouse have met the two-year separation requirement. You then have to file a Notice of Intention to Request Entry of Divorce Decree.

Reasons to Refile

You might want to refile a divorce complaint if the other party decides he will not sign the affidavit of consent after saying he would. In this case, you must file a motion to dismiss the case and wait out the two-year separation requirement before refiling – or file immediately on fault grounds, such as adultery, if appropriate. You can also refile on fault grounds if you simply decide you want to avoid the 90-day waiting period.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Court Dismissal

There are certain instances in which the court is likely to dismiss your case, which would result in your having to refile. If you file for a divorce based on mutual consent and there are allegations of coercion or fraud concerning your spouse's signature on the consent affidavit, it's probable that the court will dismiss the case. If after waiting two years for divorce, your spouse files a counter affidavit, stating that you weren't separated for two years, the court might dismiss the case unless you can show proof of separation, such as the testimony of witnesses or proof of maintaining another residence. Further, if you don't meet certain requirements, or follow the divorce procedure as provided by Pennsylvania law, the court will dismiss the case. For example, if you didn't serve your spouse properly or within the required time period, your spouse can motion to have the case dismissed. The court can also dismiss a case if neither party met the required six-month residency requirement at the time of filing. Once one party meets the residency requirement, you can refile.

Refiling Procedure

In Pennsylvania, there is no difference in the filing procedure the second time around. However, the court does request that the parties provide notice as to whether there have been any previous legal actions between them. You simply have to indicate this information on the appropriate line on your complaint. In addition, once a case is dismissed, refiling is treated as an entirely new lawsuit, which means you'll have to pay another filing fee.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Required Period of Separation in Wyoming for Divorce
 

References

Related articles

Returning to Your Maiden Name After a Divorce in Pennsylvania

If you're divorcing in Pennsylvania, you may go back to your maiden name without going through a formal court process or getting a judge's signature. State law allows a divorcing spouse to take her maiden name back by filing a notice to resume use of a maiden surname. You may file the notice before or after the court issues a final divorce decree.

Can You Back Out of Divorce If You Already Filed?

A divorce, like a marriage, can seem like a good idea one minute but a bad idea the next. If you filed a divorce petition and now regret it, you may be able to do an about-face without too much trouble, depending upon what stage in the proceedings you realize your mistake.

Can a Divorce Be Stopped in Florida If the Papers Have Been Filed?

In Florida, a divorce is known as a dissolution of marriage. So long as the dissolution decree has not yet been issued in your case -- which finalizes the divorce and makes it official -- you and your spouse can stop the dissolution of your marriage at any time.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Filing No Fault Divorce in Pennsylvania

Courts used to require a spouse to prove fault, or reasons for the failure of the marriage, such as abandonment or ...

Procedures for an Amicable Divorce in Maryland

Maryland offers an amicable divorce process for couples who can agree on all the terms of their divorce. This is known ...

Does My Husband Need My Permission to Cancel the Divorce?

Both spouses do not have to consent to a divorce for the court to grant one. All states recognize no-fault divorce, ...

How to File for a Divorce in Maryland When One Party Is out of State

Filing for divorce when your spouse is out of state depends on two factors. You must have legal residence in the state ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED