Divorce

Grounds For Divorce

(a) Fault. The court may grant a divorce to the innocent and injured spouse whenever it is judged that the other spouse has:

(1) Committed willful and malicious desertion, and absence from the habitation of the      injured and innocent spouse, without a reasonable cause, for the period of one or more      years.

(2) Committed adultery.

(3) By cruel and barbarous treatment, endangered the life or health of the injured and      innocent spouse.

(4) Knowingly entered into a bigamous marriage while a former marriage is still      subsisting.

(5) Been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of two or more years upon conviction of      having committed a crime.

(6) Offered such indignities to the innocent and injured spouse as to render that      spouse’s condition intolerable and life burdensome.

(b) Institutionalization. The court may grant a divorce from a spouse upon the ground that insanity or serious mental disorder has resulted in confinement in a mental institution for at least 18 months immediately before the commencement of an action under this part and where there is no reasonable prospect that the spouse will be discharged from inpatient care during the 18 months subsequent to the commencement of the action. A presumption that no prospect of discharge exists shall be established by a certificate of the superintendent of the institution to that effect and which includes a supporting statement of a treating physician.

(c) Mutual consent. The court may grant a divorce where it is alleged that the marriage is irretrievably broken and 90 days have elapsed from the date of commencement of an action under this part and an affidavit has been filed by each of the parties evidencing that each of the parties consents to the divorce.

(d) Irretrievable breakdown.

(1) The court may grant a divorce where a complaint has been filed alleging that the      marriage is irretrievably broken and an affidavit has been filed alleging that the      parties have lived separate and apart for a period of at least two years and that the      marriage is irretrievably broken and the defendant either:

(i) Does not deny the allegations set forth in the affidavit.

(ii) Denies one or more of the allegations set forth in the affidavit but, after notice           and hearing, the court determines that the parties have lived separate and apart for           a period of at least two years and that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

(2) If a hearing has been held pursuant to paragraph (1)(ii) and the court determines      that there is a reasonable prospect of reconciliation, then the court shall continue the      matter for a period not less than 90 days nor more than 120 days unless the parties      agree to a period in excess of 120 days. During this period, the court shall require      counseling as provided in section 3302 (relating to counseling). If the parties have not      reconciled at the expiration of the time period and one party states under oath that the      marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall determine whether the marriage is      irretrievably broken. If the court determines that the marriage is irretrievably broken,      the court shall grant the divorce. Otherwise, the court shall deny the divorce.

(e) No hearing required in certain cases. If grounds for divorce alleged in the complaint or counterclaim are established under subsection (c) or (d), the court shall grant a divorce without requiring a hearing on any other grounds.

23 Pa.C.S. § 3301.

Frequently, more is involved in a divorce. Please see the pages on Custody, Equitable Distribution, and Support. Also see, Uncontested Divorce.

If you are seeking a divorce, or if you are the defendant in a divorce, contact Vodzak Law now to request legal representation.