Divorce FAQ's

HOW LONG MUST I LIVE IN PENNSYLVANIA BEFORE I CAN FILE FOR DIVORCE?

Either you or your spouse must reside in Pennsylvania for at least 6 months immediately before the filing of the divorce complaint.

CAN MY SPOUSE BE REQUIRED TO ATTEND COUNSELING WITH ME?

The court shall require up to a maximum of 3 counseling sessions if either party requests it:

  • Whenever indignities is the ground for divorce.
  • Whenever mutual consent is the ground for divorce. The counseling sessions must take place within the 90 days following commencement of the divorce action.
  • Whenever a hearing has been held to determine whether the parties have been separated for 2 years and the court finds that there is a reasonable prospect of reconciliation. The counseling sessions must take place within the 90 to 120 days following the hearing. The court may also require counseling if the parties have at least one child under 16 years of age even if neither party requests the counseling.

IF MY SPOUSE DIES BEFORE A DIVORCE DECREE HAS BEEN ENTERED, CAN I STILL OBTAIN A DIVORCE?

If a spouse dies before a divorce decree has been entered, no decree of divorce can be granted by the court. If grounds for divorce were established before the spouse's death, the economic rights and obligations of husband and wife are determined under the divorce code, rather than under the statute relating to wills and estates of deceased persons.

HOW WILL I KNOW IF GROUNDS HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED AT THE TIME OF MY SPOUSE'S DEATH?

In an action for divorce on fault grounds under sections 3301(a) or (b) of the Divorce Code, grounds are established if the court adopts a report of the master or makes its own findings that grounds for divorce exist.

In an action for divorce on no fault grounds under sections 3301(c) of the Divorce Code, grounds are established when both parties have filed affidavits of consent.

In an action for divorce on no fault grounds under sections 3301(d) of the Divorce Code, grounds are established when an affidavit has been filed stating that marriage is irretrievably broken and that the parties have lived separate and apart for at least two (2) years and no counter-affidavit denying the affidavit's averments has been filed or, if a counter-affidavit has been filed contesting the averment's of the affidavit and the court has determined that the marriage is irretrievably broken and the parties had lived separate and apart for at least two (2) years at the time of the filing of the affidavit.

I WANT TO REMARRY, BUT WE CANNOT AGREE ON THE ECONOMIC ISSUES. CAN I OBTAIN A DIVORCE DECREE WITHOUT SETTLING ALL OF THE OUTSTANDING CLAIMS RAISED IN THE DIVORCE COMPLAINT?

With the agreement of both spouses, the court may enter a decree of divorce or annulment before disposing of the other issues raised in the complaint for divorce or annulment. In the absence of the consent of both parties, the court may enter a decree of divorce or annulment if grounds have been established and compelling circumstances exist for entry of the decree and there are sufficient economic protections for the other party while the remaining issues are resolved.