The following are some of Pennsylvania’s laws regarding divorce:
Residence Requirements in Pennsylvania Prior to Filing for Divorce
In order to file a petition for the dissolution of marriage in Pennsylvania, at least one of the parties must be a bona fide resident of the state for at least six months immediately prior to commencing the action. If parties meet these requirements, then the case may be brought in the county where the defendant (spouse who is being served the divorce papers) resides, or if the defendant resides outside of Pennsylvania, where the plaintiff (spouse filing for divorce) lives.
Legal Grounds for Divorce in Pennsylvania
The following are the acceptable grounds parties may cite when filing for divorce in Pennsylvania:
Mutual Consent – The court may grant a divorce by mutual consent when the marriage is irretrievably broken and 90 days have passed from the date the petition was filed. Spouses must also file an affidavit stating they both consent to the divorce.
Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage — A divorce may be granted when the marriage is irretrievably broken and an affidavit has been filed alleging that the parties have lived separate and apart for at least two years.
When parties do not agree to the divorce or one spouse has accused the other of a wrongdoing, the following grounds are acceptable to cite in the Pennsylvania divorce petition:
- Willful and malicious desertion for two or more years
- Cruel and barbarous treatment
- One spouse’s actions have rendered continuation of the marriage intolerable to the other
Hiring an Attorney to Help with Proceedings
There are many specific details involved in a divorce case in Pennsylvania that if couples are not aware of, can drastically change the outcome of the case. It is important for each spouse to protect their rights, whether they are the plaintiff or the defendant in the case. For this reason, skilled Pennsylvania divorce lawyers are available to protect the rights of all parties involved and to ensure the case resolves as quickly and favorably as possible.
Divorce attorneys in Pennsylvania work diligently to make sure the interests of their clients are upheld and that all property is divided fairly. They will also help determine child custody arrangements and alimony, always making sure everyone’s rights are taken into account.
For more information on filing for divorce in Pennsylvania, contact one of our featured divorce lawyers today and schedule a consultation.