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What Are Grounds for Divorce in Pennsylvania?

By Sheryl Rentz on July 19, 2013

Throughout the country, each state has a different set of regulations when it comes to divorce; however, every state requires that a person specifies his or her reason for filing for divorce. In Pennsylvania, spouses are allowed to obtain a no-fault divorce under certain terms when both spouses mutually agree that divorce is the best course of action. No-fault divorces are typically filed as one of the following:

  • Mutual Consent – You and your spouse may each consent to a divorce and file an affidavit, which will make your marriage irretrievably broken after at least 90 days.
  • Irretrievable Breakdown – You and your spouse may file an affidavit stating that you have lived separately for a minimum of two years and your marriage is irretrievably broken.

In cases where one spouse believes the other has done something to justify a divorce, they may pursue a fault divorce. In order to obtain a fault divorce, the spouse must establish a reason and provide sufficient evidence of the other spouse’s guilt. Grounds for a fault divorce in Pennsylvania include:

  • Adultery – If your spouse has had an affair without you knowing and you are not guilty of adultery, as well.
  • Bigamy – If your spouse married you while still married to another person.
  • Institutionalization – If your spouse is committed to a mental institution for a permanent psychological disorder for 18 months or more and will not be released within 18 months after filing.
  • Imprisonment – If your spouse is sentenced to at least two or more years in prison.
  • Cruel Treatment – If your spouse has endangered your life or health in some manner.
  • Indignities – If one spouse exhibits continuous behavior that makes life intolerable for the other spouse, such as verbal abuse, contempt, studied neglect, or rudeness.
  • Willful and Malicious Desertion – If your spouse leaves you and your home for at least one year without reasonable cause or intention of returning.

For help navigating the often confusing and complicated divorce process, please contact a Montgomery County divorce attorney at The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, LLC. We are committed to providing knowledgeable and caring representation for our clients. The first consultation is free and confidential. Call (610) 645-0100.

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