Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Pennsylvania Divorce Rights


Pennsylvania divorce rights make it obligatory for a spouse to be a resident of the commonwealth for a period of six months in order to file a divorce petition in the commonwealth. According to Pennsylvania consolidated statutes the petition could be filed in any of the counties of the commonwealth, where the plaintiff or the defendant resides.

Mutual consent of the parties involved in the case is considered to be a legal ground of divorce by Pennsylvania divorce rights. These are the cases where the court discovers that the marriage has been irretrievably broken down and spouses have been living separately for a period of two years. The mutual consent of two parties is recognized under the no fault ground of divorce.

Willful desertion of the spouse, adultery, cruel and inhuman treatment, absence from habitation for one year, two or more years of imprisonment and bigamous marriage are some of the fault grounds of seeking a divorce. Cases where it is found that the spouse has been suffering from a serious mental illness, court will consider this ground as a no fault ground of seeking a divorce.

Mediation and counseling program is a unique feature of Pennsylvania divorce rights. According to the provisions of this program, the court makes available some of the qualified professionals who can provide mediation and counseling between the two parties. This mediation of the professionals however will be made available only after the request of either of the parties.

Pennsylvania has equitable distribution of property in a divorce. The principle of equitable distribution of property, recognized by Pennsylvania divorce rights, literally means that the property acquired by the couple during the marriage would be equally distributed between both the parties. Length of the marriage, prior marriage of the party, age and health, contribution of spouse in the family responsibilities, sources of income, standard of living, economic circumstances are some of the factors which are taken into account by the court while deciding on the issue of property distribution.

Before concluding the decree of divorce, alimony maintenance and spousal support are issues, the court may discuss. The court determines the amount, manner and duration of the payment on the basis of the merit of the case. Pennsylvania divorce rights take into account the relative earnings and the financial resources of the parties while determining the alimony amount. Alimony award, property distribution and the maintenance after divorce are the factors which also influence the custody of the child after divorce. No spouse can gain the custody of the child if the court is not satisfied with the financial conditions of the parent concerned. The court, according to Pennsylvania divorce rights, has to make sure that any decision taken by the court should bring the least possible mental and physical trauma to the child. Wishes of the child and parents, however are also important while deciding the issue of child custody.


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