Requirements for filing for divorce in Pennsylvania

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The first thing many of our potential Pittsburgh divorce clients ask us is about the requirements for filing for divorce in Pennsylvania. They want to know who can file for divorce, what you need to show in order to get divorced, and how long the process will take. In today’s blog we provide you with the most important information that you need to know before you file for a PA divorce.

How long must I have lived in Pennsylvania prior to filing for divorce in a Pennsylvania court?

At least one of the spouses to the action for divorce must have resided in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for at least six months immediately prior to the commencement of the action for divorce.

What is meant by “grounds for divorce”?

A ground for divorce is a reason for divorce. In Pennsylvania there is a list of 8 judicially recognized reasons that will allow you to file for divorce and you must use one or more of these reasons to justify your divorce.

What are the recognized grounds for divorce in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania family law permits divorces to be granted upon the following grounds:

1. Willful and malicious desertion for a period of one or more years;
2. Adultery;
3. Cruel and barbarous treatment which endangered the life or health of the innocent spouse;
4. Bigamy;
5. Imprisonment for two or more years;
6. Indignities to the innocent spouse as to render that spouse’s condition intolerable and life burdensome;
7. Institutionalization in mental institution for at least 18 months; and,
8. Irretrievable breakdown.

How long does it take to get divorced in Pennsylvania?

The minimum total processing time for a PA divorce, according to, is 270 days, which is roughly 9 months. This time period, however, is for cases that actually go to court. Many of our Pittsburgh divorce clients choose to settle their cases before a trial so the time period is shorter in those situations.

If you have any other questions about the process and requirements necessary to file for divorce in Western Pennsylvania, contact our PA Divorce Lawyers at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates. Our team of experienced family lawyers is here to guide you and provide you with legal advice throughout your divorce proceeding.