This seems hinky to me....PA has "fault" divorce for adultery (right?)...but I think there's a time limit? Anyone know if she needs to be getting a second opinion? Three decades of marriage, BTW. The whole situation is upsetting, but the thought of her possibly getting further scr*wed over is really bothering me.
Hope it's okay to throw this question out here.
The length of the M will prolly work in her favour. I'd advise her to see a L, to get an idea of her options. See can file for support ad litem (sp?), where she receives support until the D is final. I would imagine after the length of the M, she would continue to receive support for a few years after the D.
This is what I recall from my L. GL to your friend.
My experience: MA is a fault state - but every atty said not to go there, judges hate A cases and it could backfire. There was no back and forth in my case he left on Dday and I had tons of email evidence, along with his written permission to be in his email.
Here is what the thinking was from my atty. Pre-filing - none of the support I received needed to be claimed as income. I was in the house, the bills were paid. Post-D... who knows...? Pre-filing - I was continuing to accrue interest in marital assets/pensions. I had health insurance. Waiting gave me time to set myself up better financially.
All five atty. said there was no advantage to filing first. So, seeing as the X was racing through one OW after another...I waited for the X to file - then counter-filed "cruel and abusive" in lieu of repeated promises of fidelity and repeated "womanizing".
It may have been more cathartic if I'd filed first, but financially life was going to be very difficult. During this time, I was reminded by a good friend that the pain wasn't going to stop just because I filed, or just because the D was final.
Not saying it was easy waiting for the shoe to drop and have XWH finally file - but none of this is easy. Both his atty and mine so it panning out the same way. 50% of marital assets, 50% of pension, and alimony. The one big difference I see - my X did not make "good money"... that might make a big difference... I don't know.
PA has a 90 day waiting period after filing for mutually agreed no-fault divorces. The advantage of filing is that it starts that clock. You don't have to reach an agreement in those 90 days. And in fact you don't have to divorce at all. But once the 90 days from filing have passed, you are eligible to divorce as soon as you do reach an agreement.
Eventually she may get tired of waiting for her WH to file. There's no guarantee he's in any hurry to divorce. The same irresponsibility that makes a WH run out on his family may also manifest in not bothering with legal niceties.
Sigh. The whole situation is just awful. Pretty much a statement that applies to ...well....everyone here.
Thanks for the help!
As far as who should file first, I don't believe that really matters but I am also not an attorney. I filed first and I don't believe it cost me any more/less in the long run other than I had to pay the filing fees.
Others here have mentioned the timeframe and they are correct. I filed in Sept 2012 and was divorced in April 2013. Paving the way for my EWW to re-marry in Sept 2013. So depending on how negotiations go on asset division and support you can get done quickly. And you can stop the process at any time. If the other party does nothing once your file, then after 2 years I believe it goes to the courts and they decide. But I didn't get that far so her attorney should confirm. During that time she would be eligible for alimony pende light and CS if they have kids.