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Pennsylvania Divorce Law

Divorce Laws in Pennsylvania

According to Pennsylvania divorce laws, you may request either a no-fault or fault divorce. The entry of a no fault divorce requires only the statement of an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. However, the divorce laws in Pennsylvania require either a mutual consent to such or a two-year separation. Fault grounds can include “recrimination” (this includes acts such as adultery or desertion) and “condonation” (meaning the accusing spouse resumes cohabitation or sexual relations with the other). Additionally, one of the spouses must have resided in Pennsylvania for at least 6 months prior to having the right to sue for divorce in Pennsylvania.

Alimony & Equitable Distribution in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is known as an equitable distribution state. According to the divorce laws in Pennsylvania this means that the marital property must be divided fairly or equitably, but not necessarily equally, between the parties regardless of title held. Marital property can be defined as property acquired between the date of marriage and the date of separation. It shall also include any property acquired after the date of separation using marital funds or assets.

Alimony is generally not permanent, unless specific circumstances arise, under Pennsylvania divorce laws. Such relevant economic factors as the length of the marriage, the parties’ prior living standard, etc. are considered in determining the amount that should be paid. The court may consider any other factor necessary to do economic justice between the spouses.

Pennsylvania Child Support and Child Custody

The main focus in determining child custody is the best interest of the children, according to Pennsylvania divorce law. Under this idea, any custody order is reviewable as well as changeable if the needs of the child change. “Partial Custody” can also be awarded under the divorce law in Pennsylvania. This is basically an overnight visitation.

Child support (a percentage of the non-custodial parents income paid to assist with the support of his children) is determined by the “child support guidelines” as set forth by divorce law in Pennsylvania. The child support obligations are based upon the parties’ incomes as well as the number and type of dependents.