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Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, Jr. Blog

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Legal Revenge: Why Some People Still File Fault-Based Divorces

There are no shortage of songs that have topped the charts by urging you to take revenge on a lover that has broken your heart. Carrie Underwood took a Louisville slugger to both headlights and slashed a hole in all 4 tires of her ex’s truck. Blu Cantrell maxed out a cheater’s credit cards. And a heartbroken Adam Levine, the lead singer of Maroon 5, shot another man dead after finding him in his bed. 

All of those songs are full of terrible advice. Don’t commit a crime because your loved one did you wrong. A much better way to get revenge is through the legal system. If you want to force your ex to face the music, and own their misdeeds, Pennsylvania law allows you to file for fault-based divorce

Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce 

Years ago, the only way to get a divorce was to prove that your spouse had broken your marriage. You had to prove that they were at fault for wrecking the relationship and you were innocent. Today, most states have moved away from this, which is known as at-fault divorce, in favor of no-fault divorce. 

Under a no-fault divorce law, the courts can award a divorce to any couple that wants one, without either party having to take the blame for the split. There is no finger-pointing, so no-fault divorces are typically less messy, and therefore faster and cheaper. In order to encourage such judicial efficiency, many states have repealed their traditional fault-based divorce laws in favor of no-fault laws. 

Pennsylvania, however, kept its fault-based laws on the books even though it adopted no-fault divorce laws. This gives people who are divorcing a lot of options to consider when they are ready to split up. Some people choose to file for fault-based divorce because they want the world to know how badly they were treated by their spouse. 

Grounds For Divorce 

There are six different reasons a court might grant a fault-based divorce: 

  • Adultery — Your spouse cheated on you.
  • Abandonment — Your spouse left you, for no good reason, for over a year. 
  • Cruelty — Your spouse treats you in a way that threatens your health or life. Domestic violence is a form of cruelty.
  • Bigamy — Your spouse never divorced his or her previous spouse. 
  • Imprisonment — Your spouse is going to jail for at least two years.
    Humiliation — Your spouse’s actions have led you to suffer such indignities as to make your life intolerable. 

The court will not grant a divorce for one of these reasons without evidence to back up the claims, so you must be prepared to air your dirty laundry in court if you want a fault-based divorce. 

You must also be prepared to wait awhile. There is no official waiting period in a fault divorce like there is in a no-fault divorce, but the reality is it takes awhile for these cases to work their way through the court system. It is must faster, and cheaper, to file for no-fault divorce. 

If you have been wronged by a cheating spouse, and you want to know what sort of legal revenge you can get, the Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, Jr. can help you figure out what your options are. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our office in Reading, PA.


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