On December 5, 2016, the law in Pennsylvania as it relates to the required length of separation in order to establish grounds for divorce reduced from two years to one year. This reduction was highly contested for many years in our legislature and had been proposed on multiple occasions during the last decade. While the pros and cons of the reduction in the length of separation were argued multiple times, the legislature finally determined that the reduction was appropriate.
The reduction of the two-year waiting period means that any spouses who physically or legally separate after December 5, 2016 now will only have to wait one year before they have established grounds for divorce unless otherwise established. In no-fault divorces, there are only two ways to establish grounds for divorce. The parties consent to the divorce, or complete a separation period which has now been shortened to one year.