When it comes to divorce in Pennsylvania, the wife is not automatically entitled to anything other than her direct property or assets. Alimony payments and division of property will be determined based on the individual circumstances of the wife. In Pennsylvania, only marital property will be divided, and any assets acquired during the marriage are presumed to be marital property. To get a divorce in Pennsylvania, at least one spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months before filing the divorce case.
Pennsylvania has both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. Fault grounds apply when one spouse is accused of having done something wrong, such as voluntary desertion, adultery, or cruelty that endangers the life or health of the injured and innocent spouse. The basic rule is that you must file in the county where your spouse lives. If you and your spouse agree in writing (and attach the agreement to your divorce petition), you can file it in any other county in Pennsylvania (23 Pa.
Rule 1920.2 (202)). For a case not to be contested, you and your spouse must have agreed on all divorce matters. If there is disagreement on any issue, the court will consider the case to be challenged. Appropriate forms and information on how to get a divorce can be found on the Pennsylvania Courts Divorce website.
In a contested divorce, your spouse will file an answer to your divorce complaint that does not agree with at least some parts of what you stated or requested. In addition, both parties must complete and file an Income Statement. This document requires you to provide detailed information about your income and assets. It's important that you complete this form as thoroughly as possible, as you could face penalties (such as fines and possible jail time) if you knowingly fail to disclose all accounts, debts, or assets. Under Pennsylvania divorce laws, a party must wait two full years of separation from their spouse before they can proceed to file a unilateral divorce.
It is important to note that if one spouse filed a divorce petition with the court, the law presumes that the couple began living separately and apart no later than the date the other spouse was notified (lawfully served) of the divorce petition. If both parties agree in writing that the divorce should be filed in any other county in Pennsylvania (23 Pa. Rule 1920.2 (202)), such a divorce petition can be filed there. When one spouse does not sign divorce forms or does not provide information when requests for documentation are made, the other spouse can file for divorce on the basis of default. If you can reach an agreement at this stage, the rest of the divorce process will be relatively simple, and you can ask the judge to make it part of the divorce decree. A qualified divorce lawyer will know the intricacies of the law, as well as the ins and outs of the court system. You will begin the divorce process in Pennsylvania by filing a Demand for Divorce, a Notice of Defense (similar to a subpoena in other states) and other attached documents with the Pennsylvania Court of Common Appeals in the county in which you are filing for divorce. In cases where both parties do not consent to bifurcation - meaning that both parties declare themselves as one person while some issues in your divorce are still being resolved - a court can still enter a judgment of divorce or annulment if compelling circumstances exist or if grounds for divorce have been sufficiently established. Pennsylvania divorce law gives courts the right to allow one or both spouses to reside in the marital home during or after a divorce.
You can also ask for a civil order of protection to keep your spouse legally away from you either before or during a divorce. When it comes to determining what entitlements a wife is entitled to in a Pennsylvania divorce, contributions made by one spouse towards their partner's education, future earning capacity of each spouse, income for both parties including health insurance and retirement benefits, each spouse's contribution to marriage including income and household chores are all taken into consideration.