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How do you file for divorce in Pennsylvania?


The end of a marriage typically arouses a range of emotions, such as anger, frustration, desperation and helplessness. No matter the duration of a marriage, it may be a good idea to part ways once the bridge of communication has broken down irretrievably.

How does a spouse living in Pennsylvania file for divorce? First, to file for divorce in Pennsylvania, spouses must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to the court filing. Once spouses have met the state's residency requirements, spouses must consider the legal grounds needed to justify a divorce. The third step is to file the divorce documentation and then send copies to the affected spouse.

The fourth step is, if the spouse does not agree with any of the stipulations of the divorce papers, then that spouse can file another set of documentation telling their side of the story. This counter-filing is referred to as "contesting the divorce." Spouses will have to appear in court, possibly several times, to sort out these issues. If there is no disagreement on the issues, then the spouse is required to sign the papers and send them back to the originator.

If the spouse does not respond to the divorce filing within a reasonable amount of time, then the partner can file for an uncontested divorce. If property division is an issue or a spouse needs alimony, then these issues will have to be settled out of court or they can also be handled in separate hearings. If the spouses have children, child custody issues may also need to be addressed as part of divorce.

Source: Women's Law. Org, "Divorce," Accessed on May 25, 2015

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