What are the grounds and residency requirements to file for an uncontested or "no-fault" divorce in Pennsylvania?
No-Fault Divorce Residency Requirements in Pennsylvania
- At least one of the parties has maintained residency in Pennsylvania for at least the previous 6 months, and is currently a resident of the county of filing.
- The parties agree on all details, or at least make no objections.
- A Property Settlement Agreement (PSA) signed by both parties and filed in court may be used, but is not required.
- The Defendant's (your spouse's) current address must be known.
- There have been no prior actions of divorce or for annulment instituted by either of the parties in this or any other jurisdiction.
No-Fault Divorce Grounds in Pennsylvania
Mutual Consent - A mutual consent divorce will be granted where it is alleged that the marriage is irretrievably broken and 90 days have elapsed from the date of the commencement of an action and an affidavit has been filed by each of the parties evidencing that each party consents to the divorce. This is known as a Section 3301(c) divorce.
Irretrievable Breakdown - If your spouse is not in agreement, you can use the provision under Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code, if you have been living separate and apart per the requirements below:
- One year separation - If the period of separation began on or after December 5, 2016, you will need to have lived separate and apart from your spouse for at least one year prior to filing your divorce complaint.
- Two year separation - If the period of separation began before December 5, 2016, you will need to have lived separate and apart from your spouse for at least two years prior to filing your divorce complaint.
The Court may grant a 3301(d) divorce based on an allegation that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" and where the parties have lived separate and apart for the required time frame (noted above), and the Defendant either:
a) Does not deny the allegations as set forth in the affidavit.
b) Denies one or more of the allegations set forth in the affidavit but, after notice and hearing, the court determines that the parties have lived separate and apart for a period of at least the required one or two years (depending on the date of separation) and that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
The address and contact information of the Defendant/spouse must be known in order to successfully use these documents.
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