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Residency Requirements for a Pennsylvania Divorce
Pennsylvania has its own divorce laws regarding who is eligible to file for a divorce. Each state protects its jurisdiction and makes sure the appropriate laws are applied to the appropriate cases. To prevent your case from being dismissed, make sure you meet the Pennsylvania residency requirements. The most common mistake people make is believing they must divorce in the state in which they were married. This is simply not true. Most divorce cases throughout the United States are filed in the county in which the filing spouse resides.

Pennsylvania Filing Requirements: In order to file for a divorce in Pennsylvania, residency requirements must be met for the court to accept the case. If the court discovers it does not have jurisdictional rights to hear the case it will not be accepted or it will eventually be dismissed. The requirements are as follows:

Either spouse must be a resident of the state of Pennsylvania for at least six months prior to filing. A proceeding for divorce or annulment may be brought in the county: 1.where the defendant resides; 2.if the defendant resides outside of this Commonwealth, where the plaintiff resides; 3.of matrimonial domicile, if the plaintiff has continuously resided in the county; 4.prior to six months after the date of final separation and with agreement of the defendant, where the plaintiff resides or, if neither party continues to reside in the county of matrimonial domicile, where either party resides; or 5.after six months after the date of final separation, where either party resides. (Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes - Title 23 - Sections: 3104)

Copyright Notice: The above synopsis of Pennsylvania residency requirements for divorce is original material which is owned an copyrighted by Divorce Source, Inc. This material has been adapted from applicable state laws and unauthorized reproduction is prohibited. Violation of this notice will result in immediate legal action.

If you discover that you DO NOT meet at least one of the above residency requirements, you can consider the following 4 options:

1. Do not proceed with a divorce and attempt to save your marriage.
2. Establish residency in Pennsylvania for the period time set forth above (this does not mean you have to wait to begin the process of getting your documents).
3. Have your spouse do the filing if he or she meets the necessary residency requirements for Pennsylvania.
4. Choose another state in which you or your spouse may meet the residency requirements (all state residency laws are unique, so be sure to check the state in which you were married as a potential option).

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