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Grounds for Divorce in Pennsylvania

What does it mean to have “grounds for divorce”?

According to the Pennsylvania Divorce Code, you must assert a reason (or grounds) for your request to be divorced. Most commonly, individuals seeking a divorce do so under the no-fault grounds. There are two ways to obtain a no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania. Those are divorce by consent, where both parties must agree to the divorce; or divorce by one year of separation, where the parties have been living separate and apart for a period of no less than a year.

On the other hand, fault grounds for divorce do still exist in Pennsylvania and may be used in certain cases, depending on the circumstances. In order for a fault divorce to be granted, the grounds for fault divorce must be proven in court. Grounds for a fault divorce in Pennsylvania are:

- adultery

- abandonment without cause for at least one year

- cruel and barbarous treatment (such as domestic violence)

- bigamy

- conviction of a crime and imprisonment for two or more years; and

- indignities (treating the innocent spouse in such a way that makes life in the marriage intolerable)

If you have a question about which type of divorce is right for you or would like to speak with an experienced and compassionate divorce attorney, contact us for your free initial consultation.