After determining if you are eligible for a divorce, either fault or no-fault, the first step is to file a Complaint in Divorce with the Court of Common Pleas. Immediately after filing the Complaint, the filing spouse must serve a copy of the Compliant on his or her spouse. That spouse then has to opportunity to contest or consent to the divorce.
Regardless of the defendant-spouses position both parties and/or their lawyers should begin to discuss, and hopefully resolve issues of child custody/support, equitable property distribution, alimony, and related claims. Generally, it is in everyone’s best interest to avoid a prolonged conflict and arrive at a fair solution for both parties and their families.
If an agreement is reached, the parties can submit a Settlement Agreement to the Court and obtain a Court Order enforcing the terms of the agreement. If no agreement can be reached, the Court may not address some or all of these issues until a final divorce decree is entered by the Court. If an agreement cannot be reached, both parties will make their case to the Court and have a hearing officer or judge decide their case.