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Pennsylvania: Grounds for Divorce in Pennsylvania

Each state has unique grounds in which a divorce may be granted by the court. When choosing the grounds for your divorce, you should always remember that you must have sufficient proof to the court that your marital situation warrants a divorce by the grounds you are requesting the divorce to be granted.

Grounds for Filing: The Complaint for Divorce must declare the appropriate Pennsylvania grounds upon which the divorce is being sought. The appropriate lawful ground will be that which the parties agree upon and can substantiate, or that which the filing spouse desires to prove to the court. The divorce grounds are as follows:


Mutual consent. Marriage is irretrievably broken and 90 days have elapsed from the date of commencement of an action; or

Irretrievable breakdown. Living separate and apart for a period of at least two years and that the marriage is irretrievably broken.


1. Willful and malicious desertion for the period of one or more years.

2. Adultery.

3. Cruel and barbarous treatment.

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

5. Imprisonment for a term of two or more years.

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

(Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes - Title 23 - Sections: 3301)

Copyright Notice: The above synopsis of Pennsylvania grounds 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 do not fall under any of the above mentioned grounds for divorce/dissolution, you most likely should consider trying to save your marriage. Many spouses find that they do not meet the requirements of a waiting period, which can be very frustrating, but it is these waiting periods that are in effect in order to help prevent rash decisions to terminate a marriage.

Related Divorce Resources:

- Start Your Pennsylvania Divorce Today (5 Great Options!)
- Locate a Pennsylvania Divorce Professional Near You
- Read More About Pennsylvania Divorce Laws

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