Grounds For Divorce In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The grounds for divorce are twofold in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, meaning individuals can file for a fault or a no-fault-based divorce. Within each of the two grounds, the factors are different, and therefore it is very important to know the difference, the factors, and the rationale behind each of the two grounds before filing for divorce. No one way is the right was to accomplish a divorce in Pennsylvania; either can be the best for you and your family depending on your circumstances.

No-fault Divorce:

The major premise behind no-fault divorce is that the parties have a mutual consent that their marriage is irretrievably broken. Therefore, neither of the parties must prove that either one did anything wrong.

The grounds include:

A mutual consent between you and your spouse that the marriage is irretrievably broken–this approach will typically allow you to have a divorce within three months, which is quick by family law standards. Next you could file that there was an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. To establish this you must have lived separately from your spouse for at least two years. The standard for living separately means separate and apart, meaning your lives are no longer intertwined whatsoever. The courts are understanding that financial times are tough, and are fairly lenient about living situations, so long as you are separate and apart. Finally, if there has been institutionalization for mental health reasons that lasted for more than 18 months and there is no reasonable believe your spouse will be released from the institution in the next 18 months, you may file a no-fault divorce.


Fault-based divorce means pretty much what the name says–one of the spouses is at fault for the divorce. One side must show that the divorce should be granted due to the wrongdoing on a spouse’s part.

The grounds include:

Abandonment for at least one year, adultery, bigamy, cruel (and barbarous) treatment that threatened a spouse’s life or health, Imprisonment of your spouse for at least two years following conviction for a crime, or acts that have made your life unbearable or extremely difficult.

The grounds require some form of proof. If you have more questions about divorce, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Pennsylvania Family Lawyers today!

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