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Does fault matter in a divorce in Pennsylvania?

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2023 | Divorce |

In Pennsylvania, you can file a no-fault divorce, but you must meet certain requirements. If you do not then you will need to look at an at-fault divorce.

Here is what you should know about no-fault divorces:

Mutual consent

If you and your spouse agree your marriage is irretrievably broken, the court will give you 90 days after filing the divorce complaint before finalizing. 


You can file a divorce complaint alleging the marriage is irretrievably broken and an affidavit stating you have lived separate and apart for at least one year. If your spouse doesn’t agree to the divorce, this is the option you will use – it requires the consent of only one party. 


If insanity or a serious mental issue causes your spouse to be confined in a mental institution for at least 18 months, and there is no reasonable prospect that they will be discharged during this period, you may use this as grounds for filing for a no-fault divorce.

What about at-fault divorces?

Here are some qualifying reasons that could allow you to seek an at-fault divorce if you do not meet the requirements for a no-fault one:

  • Your spouse has committed willful and malicious desertion and has been absent from your home without a reasonable cause for one or more years
  • Your spouse committed adultery or married another person while still legally married to you
  • Your spouse endangered your life or burdened your life
  • Your spouse has been sentenced to imprisonment for two or more years upon conviction of a crime

If you want to file for divorce, it is best to get legal help to examine your options.