Readers of this divorce and family law blog might be interested in the results of a recent nationwide survey of state divorce filings, rates and procedures. The data, compiled from three different national sources, examined divorce rates, filing fees and any mandatory minimum processing times in each American state. The authors of the survey also assigned a score, representing the ease of filing for divorce in each state.
Pennsylvania ranked as having among the lowest yearly divorce rates. However, its marks were not as good in the other categories, specifically filing cost and filing ease. It also scored moderately in the duration of its divorce proceedings, compared to other states. Under state law, a minimum time of 270 days is required for Pennsylvania divorce proceedings.
One rationale behind minimum processing periods might be the idea of a cooling off period. If a divorce filing were initiated in the heat of an argument, for example, the waiting period might allow a couple to approach the issue in a more reasonable manner. As a divorce attorney might agree, the manner in which couples approach divorce settlement talks can greatly impact the length of a divorce, as well as the amount of court involvement required.
In fact, an amicable approach to divorce might actually enable several substitutes for litigation, such as mediation or collaborative law. A divorce attorney that also specializes in these alternative methods might help couples achieve an equitable divorce settlement without the frustration, fighting and expenses that might accompany more contested divorces. Such approaches may also involve less invasion of a couple’s privacy, avoiding tactics such as independent financial valuations, forensic accounting over disputed property division issues, and courtroom disputes.
Source: huffingtonpost.com, “Divorce Rate By State: How Does Your State Stack Up?” Sept. 5, 2013