Pennsylvania marriage and divorce law

Divorce Laws in Pennsylvania

The simple process outlined below works only for dissolution of marriage, and is only available for cases in which neither spouse is serving in the military. A lawyer must be hired if the spouse who is filing wishes to divide property, file for custody of children, receive alimony, or receive payment for expenses including legal fees.

How Property is Divided in Pennsylvania

If the complainant does not have funds to pay for a divorce, Pennsylvania may opt to waive filing fees. To qualify for this waiver, the filing party must fill out an additional form called In Forma Pauperis. Once all required pages are complete, the filing party should make at least two copies of each, as well as of the Complaint. The forms should be hand-carried to the local courthouse and presented at the office where all legal pleadings are filed.

Does Pennsylvania Have Legal Separation?

The receiving court official will stamp the date and time on the documents when they are accepted. After filing all official Pennsylvania divorce papers successfully, the complainant has thirty days to serve the other party. If the other party lives outside Pennsylvania, the complainant has ninety days to complete service. If attempts to serve the other party are unsuccessful, the Complaint must be returned to the court, reinstated, and re-served. Reinstatement re-starts the clock for another thirty or ninety days.

Is There a Residency Requirement for Divorce in Pennsylvania?

The reinstatement process may be conducted as many times as required to successfully complete the service. When service has been completed, all associated forms should be hand-carried to the local courthouse and presented to the office where legal pleadings are filed. All documents will be time-stamped.

What Happens to My Pension in a PA Divorce?

The originals will remain on file and copies will be presented to the Complainant for his or her records. If this time limit is exceeded, then both parties must re-sign and re-file new Affidavit of Consent forms. If both parties sign the Waiver of Notice form, then either spouse has the option of immediately filing a Praecipe to Transmit Record, and the file will be sent to a judge for completion. If one or both parties opt to mail the other a Notice of Intention to Request Entry of Section c Divorce Decree and a Counter-Affidavit, then both parties must wait 20 days before the Praecipe to Transmit Record is sent to the judge.

In both cases, the court must also be provided with a proposed Divorce Decree also called Form Self-addressed, stamped envelopes must be provided for each spouse.

Practice Areas

The court will use these envelopes to mail each party a copy of the finalized divorce decree. Pennsylvania divorce laws concerning separation prior to divorce changed recently. Current Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure require a period of separation prior to proceeding with a non-consent divorce with no fault. These separation periods do not apply when both spouses consent to divorce.

If the period of separation began prior to December 5 of , both spouses must live separate and apart for a total of two years before filing the divorce complaint. If the period of separation began on or after December 5 of , both spouses must live separate and apart for a period of one year before filing the divorce complaint.

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After the applicable time period has passed, either spouse may sign and file an Affidavit Under Section d of the Pennsylvania Divorce Code. This states that the required separation time has passed, and allows a divorce to be entered after the other party has been notified and properly served with the following:. These forms provide the other party with the option of opposing the divorce or raising claims. - Your Online Guide to Legal Information and Legal Services in Pennsylvania

If they do not wish to take action, then the filing goes before a judge, who may enter a Divorce Decree twenty days after service has taken place. It is important to note that a d divorce may not be obtained against a spouse who is both unrepresented and in the military.

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For this reason, all d divorces in Pennsylvania must be accompanied by an Affidavit of Non-Military Service. Pennsylvania divorce costs vary from one complaint to the next, and costs can vary from one county to another.

What are the Grounds for Divorce in Pennsylvania?

The only reason that the plaintiff has to give the court for a divorce by mutual consent is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. If both the wife and husband ( the. Jul 23, Divorce laws can be complicated. This page In a Pennsylvania divorce, the court divides marital property on an equitable basis. However.

Pennsylvania law provides for three different types of support that may be awarded to a financially dependent spouse:. In Pennsylvania, alimony, except reimbursement alimony, is usually terminated, unless the order or agreement provides other terminating conditions, when the recipient spouse begins residing with another person in a marriage-like relationship or when the recipient spouse remarries or dies.

Rehabilitative alimony may be established for a term of years or based upon some other terminating factor such as the completion of a college education. After consideration of the other orders, spousal support and alimony pendente lite are generally based upon a fixed percentage of the differences in the net incomes or earning capacities of the spouses.

The court will also consider certain factors to determine if a deviation is warranted from the standard calculation.

How to Divorce in PA: Knowing All Your Options

One of these factors includes the duration of the marriage from the date of marriage to the date of final separation. Other factors include the relative assets and liabilities of the parties and the standard of living of the parties and their children. In determining the amount of alimony to be awarded, fixed percentages of the differences of incomes or earning capacities are not utilized. Our Pittsburgh spousal support lawyers have represented over family law clients including many clients with PA spousal support, APL, and alimony issues. Appointments may also be available in other meeting locations throughout Pennsylvania upon advance arrangements with our office.

Ask the secretary scheduling your appointment for details including appointment locations. Skip to content chat. Fighting for the Rights of Today's Families. Pennsylvania law provides for three different types of support that may be awarded to a financially dependent spouse: Spousal support.