How does the divorce process work in Pennsylvania?

States vary widely when it comes to divorce laws. Therefore, if you are eligible to file for divorce in more than one state, you should consider and compare the laws in each. To be eligible to file for divorce in Pennsylvania, at least one of the parties must have resided in the state for six months prior.

If you are considering filing for divorce, you likely have some concerns about how the process will affect you financially and emotionally. The following are some of the main things to note about divorce in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state

Pennsylvania does not recognize community property. This means that marital assets will not necessarily be divided equally between spouses at divorce. Instead, a number of factors will be taken into account to establish the fairest possible division of assets and debts.

It's possible to file for divorce under one of four grounds

In Pennsylvania, the person filing for divorce can blame their divorcing spouse for the breakdown of the marriage. Fault-based grounds for divorce include desertion, endangerment, bigamy, forcing the spouse to live in intolerable conditions or going to prison after committing a crime.

It's also possible to file for divorce if your spouse was confined in a mental institution for at least 18 months, if both spouses mutually agree to the divorce, or if an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage has occurred.

Filing for divorce in Pennsylvania requires prior planning. By understanding how the law applies to your individual situation, it can be possible to predict the course of equitable distribution proceedings.

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