Timeline for a mediation divorce
In a mediation divorce, spouses may:
- discuss and decide divorce topics in days,
- sign legal documents within weeks, and
- get a Pennsylvania divorce decree within months.
Or divorcing spouses may choose a slower pace.
Spouses are the decision makers in divorce mediation. Together, they choose how quickly or how slowly to proceed.
Timeline to discuss and decide matters in divorce mediation
Within days of a free consultation about divorce mediation, spouses may discuss and decide terms of divorce with help from a mediator. These and other issues may be decided right away in divorce mediation:
- distribution of marital property
- spousal support
- child support
- child custody
No need to wait months—even years—for a divorce court to decide. And within a matter of weeks it is possible for spouses to sign legal documents that make terms decided in mediation enforceable. No need to wait for a judge to sign a divorce decree to finalize those terms.
If divorcing wives and husbands choose to go slower, that is okay too. In divorce mediation, spouses may take as much time as they need to discuss matters and sign legal documents.
Timeline to get a Pennsylvania divorce decree
A divorce decree is a court document that changes the marital status of spouses. Pennsylvania law sets time limits on how quickly divorcing husbands and wives may get a decree (applies to courtroom and mediation divorces alike).
The shortest time to get a Pennsylvania divorce decree is:
- 90 days after filing and service of a divorce pleading, or
- 20 days after filing and service of a divorce pleading if spouses lived separate and apart for the statutory separation period.
NOTE: The statutory separation period is two years for spouses who separated before December 5, 2016, and one year for spouses who separated December 5, 2016 or later.
In addition to these waiting periods, it takes an extra 3 to 10 weeks (varies by Pennsylvania county) to file paperwork and process the decree.
❝An entire mediation divorce that includes discussing and deciding topics, signing Pennsylvania legal documents, and getting a Pennsylvania divorce decree can be completed in my office.❞
If divorcing couples choose to take more time before consenting to a decree, that is okay. Some husbands and wives are not ready to divorce so quickly. Some choose to stay married for continuation of marital health insurance benefits, to file taxes jointly, or for personal reasons.
Divorce mediation can begin when both spouses are ready
Divorce mediation can begin as soon as both spouses are ready. The first step is a free consultation about divorce mediation.
In my office, a free consultation can happen within days of a request. Because my law practice is limited to mediation divorce, I am focused and efficient. I take pride in attending to all matters promptly.