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Toohil divorce bill becomes law
10/11/2016
  
from The Citizen' Voice, Robert Swift / Published Oct 6, 2016

A Luzerne County lawmaker’s bill to shorten the waiting time for a no-fault divorce has now become law.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed the legislation sponsored by Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Butler Township, to have a mandatory separation period of one year instead of two years for a couple getting a no-fault divorce based upon irretrievable breakdown.

The shorter wait means couples can start the process earlier of dividing assets and determining whether alimony is owed.

Toohil has said she sponsored the legislation out of concern for children caught in the middle of a divorce. She said it will ease uncertainty over housing, schools and future custody schedules for children. Parents with unresolved divorce issues often are not learning the special challenges of co-parenting as a divorced couple, she said. A shorter waiting period can lead to less litigation and lower legal costs for the couples involved.

“A one-year waiting period just makes better sense for all those involved in a divorce,” Toohil said.

The Pennsylvania Bar Association supports the change, saying it will put greater focus on resolving custody matters.


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