Pennsylvania Divorce Law

Divorce – State Law Summary – Pennsylvania

Notes:  This summary is not intended to be an all-inclusive summary of the laws of divorce in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but does contain basic and other procedures.

Grounds
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania permits divorces to be granted upon the following grounds:
1. Willful and malicious desertion for a period of one or more years
2. Adultery
3. Cruel and barbarous treatment which endangered the life or health of the innocent spouse
4. Bigamy
5. Imprisonment for two or more years
6. Indignities to the innocent spouse as to render that spouse’s condition intolerable and life burdensome
7. Institutionalization in mental institution for at least 18 months
8. Irretrievable breakdown

A divorce based upon irretrievable breakdown may be awarded two separate ways.  First, if the parties allege that the marriage has suffered an irretrievable breakdown and both parties file an affidavit consenting to the divorce, the court may award a divorce after a period of 90 days have elapsed from the date of commencement of the proceeding.  Second, if the one of the parties allege that the marriage has suffered an irretrievable breakdown and the filing party files an affidavit stating that the spouses have lived separate and apart for at least 2 years and the defendant either does not deny the allegations set forth in the affidavit of denies on or more of the allegations but the court determines the allegations to be true, the court may enter a decree of divorce.  23 Pa.C.S.§3301

Residency requirements
At least one of the parties the the action for divorce must have resided in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for at least six months immediately prior the the commencement of the action for divorce.

Venue
The action for divorce may be properly brought in the county in which the plaintiff or defendant resides, or in any county which the parties have agreed to writing or participated in the proceedings.

Name of court and title of action/parties
An action for divorce in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is filed in the Court of Common Pleas.


Inside Pennsylvania Divorce Law