How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce?

The Waiting is the Hardest Part: How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce?

By: Melissa Towsey, Esquire

The answer is that it depends. A divorce based on mutual consent under Section 3301(c) of the Divorce Code, meaning both parties agree to moving forward with the divorce process,  could happen in five (5) or six (6) months. Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code allows for the court to grant a divorce based on a two year separation. The law requires a three (3) month waiting period between service of the divorce complaint and filing certain court papers to finalize the divorce under Section 3301(c). Absent the mutual consent of the parties, however, neither party can begin to move the divorce forward until the parties have been separated for two (2) years under Section 3301(d). A contested divorce, where property and equitable distribution are at issue and the parties do not agree, may take two to three years, and sometimes, in particularly complex cases, even longer. Every case is unique and has many different issues that determine how quickly a resolution can be reached.


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About the author

About Melissa Towsey

Melissa graduated from the University of Virginia in 2002 with a double major in Sociology and Foreign Affairs. After working for several years as a paralegal in Washington, D.C., she attended The University of Villanova School of Law and graduated in 2010. During law school, Melissa was involved in several public interest organizations and published an article in Villanova’s Environmental Law Journal, “Something Stinks: The Need for Environmental Regulation of Puppy Mills” 21 Vill. Envtl. L.J. 159 (2010) After law school, Melissa clerked for the Honorable Thomas G. Parisi, Administrative Judge of the Criminal Division in the Court of Common Pleas, Berks County. Melissa is the supervising attorney of the firm’s Appellate Unit. The Appellate Unit handles all aspects of the appellate process for family law cases as well as advanced research within the firm. Melissa and her husband, Paul, reside in Montgomery County with their two cats Wembley and Gobo. In her spare time, she enjoys audiobooks, barbeques, and watching action movies.