Pennsylvania Divorce Guidelines to File for a Divorce
Divorce Requirements for Pennsylvania Residents
In filing for divorce in Pennsylvania, the residency requirement must be satisfied such that one or both of the spouses must be a legal resident of the Keystone State for at least six months prior to the filing of the petition.
Pennsylvania Grounds For Divorce
Both no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce are recognized in Pennsylvania.
- Mutual consent to the divorce action stating that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and that 90 days have passed since the filing of the divorce petition which was mutually agreed on by the parties. Both parties should execute an affidavit proving that they both consent to the divorce action.
- Insanity by either party that resulted in confinement to a mental facility for at least 18 months immediately preceding the divorce petition.
- Spouses living separate and apart without cohabitation for a period of two or more years. In this scenario, irretrievable breakdown of marriage may be cited.
- Willful desertion for one year or more
- Imprisonment for two or more years as a result of a felony conviction
- Cruel and inhuman treatment that puts the life of the other spouse or their child in danger
Child Custody Law in Pennsylvania
Child custody in Pennsylvania puts the child’s best interests first. Despite the Dissolution of Marriage, both parents are deemed by the courts to be sharing parental responsibilities and rights in making sure that the child is well taken care of and is reared properly. Both parents must apply for and mutually agree to have Shared Custody for the court to grant it.
With the child’s best interests of paramount importance, the court considers some of these factors below in custody decisions:
- The child’s wishes or preference as to his or her custodian if the child is of suitable age and is capable of making sound decisions, as determined by the court;
- Wishes of the child’s parents as to custody;
- Either parent’s criminal conviction;
- Either parent’s history of violence or abuse that may pose as a risk to the child;
Guidelines for Pennsylvania Child Support
Parents paying child support are obliged to do so until the un-emancipated child is 18 years old or in some cases, older. Pennsylvania child support guidelines are based on official guidelines and on the income shares model for calculating child support.
The application of these guidelines and the proportional division of each parent’s income determine monthly support. It balances the income capacity of the parents and the child’s reasonable needs.
Where to file for a divorce?
Pennsylvania divorce forms may be filed in the county where the Defendant resides, or where the Plaintiff resides if there live in different counties. The spouse filing the divorce complaint is called the Plaintiff and the respondent is called the Defendant. The Defendant shall be notified by the Plaintiff by serving him or her the divorce petition.
For a fast and inexpensive divorce process, you can file Pennsylvania online divorce forms.
Refer to the “Divorce Requirements for Pennsylvania Residents” above and also review the top online divorce papers sites.
Divorce mediation in Pennsylvania gives the spouses an opportunity to resolve their issues for the sake of themselves and the children, instead of having a judge decide for them. Couples will more likely be satisfied with the agreement, designing solutions to their own problems. Successful mediation often reduces the hostility that may accompany a court proceeding. Hence, parties filing divorce papers in Pennsylvania seek to settle disputes through mediation first to lessen, if not eradicate, the courtroom drama.
Need information for a different state?
You may also visit the Pennsylvania Courts for more information