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In order to file a divorce in Pennsylvania, one spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to filing. The court may grant a final divorce three months after the responding parent has been served with the action, if the situation remains uncontested.
GROUNDS Pennsylvania recognizes the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage with spouses living separate and apart without cohabitation for two years as grounds for a no-fault divorce. Further, an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage where the parties have signed and filed affidavits stating that they consent to the divorce is also recognized as a no-fault ground for divorce.
Some of Pennsylvania’s fault-based grounds for divorce include, but are not limited to adultery, imprisonment for two or more years, willful desertion or cruel and inhuman treatment.
Pennsylvania courts award custody, joint or sole, based on the preservation of the best interests of the child. Joint custody ensures that both parents will be involved in the important decisions concerning their child's development, but does not typically provide that both parents will spend equal time with the child. As long as the best interests of the child are preserved, the court will generally approve the parents’ child custody agreement.
Pennsylvania’s child support guidelines apply in virtually every case, unless special circumstances are present. Both parties’ gross incomes and certain child related expenses are taken into consideration when calculating the child support obligation. The child support payments should continue until the child reaches eighteen years of age, and may be extended through the child’s secondary education.
A divorce proceeding in the State of Pennsylvania may be initiated in the county where the defendant resides. If defendant is out of this Commonwealth, then the action may be brought where plaintiff resides.
Before or after the divorce has been initiated, the parties may agree to submit any or all of their disputed issues to mediation. The agreements reached in mediation may allow the parties to proceed in court on an uncontested basis.
Court filing fees are in addition to the cost of using CompleteCase.com. This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.