You’re ready for your divorce to be over – but it seems like each new day brings another challenge. Your spouse can break an agreement faster than they make one, and it seems like they’re constantly filing new motions for discovery or requests for hearings.
When one spouse refuses to be reasonable, the divorce process can be unnecessarily painful and drawn out – or even abusive. This is particularly true when one party has moved on emotionally and romantically and the other refuses to let go.
A bifurcated divorce may give you the relief you need
Pennsylvania law permits something known as a “bifurcated” divorce. In essence, this breaks your divorce into two sections:
- First, your actual marital relationship can be ended, which allows you to move on and even remarry.
- Second, the final disposition of all other matters, including the division of marital debts and assets, issues of support and child custody, can be settled.
It should be noted that bifurcation is not a standard procedure. The law only allows it when either both parties consent to the bifurcation or the court finds that there are “compelling circumstances” to do so.
In both cases, the court must be satisfied that there are “sufficient economic protections” in place to make sure that any minor children have the financial support that they need. When the bifurcation is not by mutual consent, the court will also look to see what economic protections are in place for the defendant spouse.
A bifurcated divorce won’t completely cut your ties with your ex-spouse, but it may nudge things along, especially if your ex is merely trying to keep you from moving on.