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Pennsylvania Divorce Residency Requirements

Pennsylvania law imposes many requirements on people seeking a divorce, including location and length of residency.

When a couple goes through a divorce, they may be too distraught to think about many of the difficult issues that need to be resolved. If children are involved, the elements of child custody and the day-to-day needs of the child are probably going to be your first priorities. This usually means that the residency requirements for a divorce filing are not frequently considered.

The Pittsburgh divorce lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC understand that this is a stressful time in your life, but attorney Anthony Piccirilli is available to guide you through the divorce process, ensuring that all of your options are laid out in front of you. He will do everything in his power to help your case reach a desirable outcome.

Call (412) 471-5100 today to see how you can get through your divorce as quickly as possible.


Understanding Residency Requirements

Divorce residency requirements are strict in the state of Pennsylvania. Before a complaint for divorce, commonly known as a petition, can be filed with a local family court, it must be proven that at least one spouse is a resident of the state. More specifically, a divorce can only be filed if one or both spouses have resided in Pennsylvania for at least six months.

To be considered an official resident, or a bona fide resident, a person must maintain physical residence in a state and have the intention to maintain their residency indefinitely. If only one spouse lives in Pennsylvania, a divorce decree can still be issued to the spouse who lives out of state. A divorce can proceed even if the defendant spouse cannot be given notice. However, the ability to notify and communicate with the defendant spouse, often referred to as personal jurisdiction, is necessary for distributing marital assets.

Determining Factors

Once the residency requirements have been met, one spouse must file a petition for divorce with a local family court. This can only be done by one spouse, even if the decision to get a divorce is mutual. Once this document has been submitted, one of two things can happen. Either both spouses can create a divorce agreement outside of court, or a judge can issue a court order. In either case, a divorce arrangement outlines certain rules and requirements. These might address spousal support, child support, and the distribution of property and funds. When a judge is forced to resolve these issues, there are a number of factors that are taken into consideration. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The net income and earning potential of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s sources of income, including retirement and medical benefits
  • Whether either spouse is already paying child or spousal support from a previous marriage
  • The labeling of all assets as either joint or individual

Let Anthony Piccirilli Protect Your Rights

There is no doubt that going through a divorce can disrupt almost every aspect of your life. You might be worried about navigating the legal system, as the process can be complex and confusing. What’s more, you may be worried about having to collaborate with your spouse. The two of you might not get along, and the idea of peacefully creating a divorce agreement might seem all but impossible.

At Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC, our Pittsburgh divorce lawyers realize how chaotic these situations can be. You want to create an agreement that is mutually beneficial, but you also do not want to be taken advantage of. Attorney Anthony Piccirilli will do everything in his power to coordinate the discussions between you and your spouse as well as address the state specific factors that may arise, so everyone comes to the best possible outcome.

Call (412) 471-5100 now to see how your divorce can be resolved in a timely manner.