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Online divorce in Pennsylvania

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Disclaimer: Online Divorce is not a law firm and its services, website and forms are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Online Divorce provides access to computer-aided self-help services at your specific direction. Online Divorce's website and written instructions provide general information about the divorce process only; we cannot give you any specific advice, opinions or recommendations as to your selection or completion of forms or your particular legal rights, remedies or options. OnlineDivorce.com is a website that provides access to self-guided online questionnaires. Online Divorce does not sell blank forms. You may be able to download blank forms from a government website depending on your state.

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by Jamie Kurtz

Jamie Kurtz has been a practicing divorce lawyer since 2008. She received her Juris Doctorate from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles in 2007. Ms. Kurtz was selected to Rising Stars for 2013 - 2016, 2019 - 2020, a peer designation awarded only to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state. She also co-founded a law firm that specializes in uncontested divorce cases.

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Online Divorce in Pennsylvania

divorce in Pennsylvania

For those seeking an inexpensive divorce in the state of Pennsylvania, online divorce is an easy, affordable and fast solution. Online divorce may be appropriate for couples who have an uncontested case. The step-by-step process of preparing divorce documents at Onlinedivorce.com makes it easy on you. We help prepare all of the necessary divorce forms and provide detailed written instructions on how to file your divorce in Pennsylvania.

Our divorce documents preparation service can be a perfect solution for those who want to have their divorce papers completed quickly and stress-free. Even though Pennsylvania has unique divorce forms and filing requirements, our online system can provide you with exactly what you need and provide instructions on how to file. We have helped thousands of people prepare their divorce documents for filing.

If you and your spouse agree on the terms of the divorce and want an amicable dissolution to your marriage, why should the process get drawn out and why should you spend money on lawyers? Online divorce is often cheaper, quicker and easier.

Online divorce can be a perfect option if you want to save money or if you hope to have your divorce quickly finalized so you can get on with your life. Preparing documents for divorce online in Pennsylvania is quickly becoming very popular because you can complete the documents in the comfort of your home. Even if you think your case is too complex because you have children, own your own home or have other assets, you may still be able to prepare your documents online. Just start with our simple questionnaire, and we’ll provide you instructions for each step of the way.

Finally, you don’t have to worry - our process is 100% secure. We protect your information and nothing is filed until you submit the divorce papers to the courthouse yourself. Filing for divorce in Pennsylvania with the Onlinedivorce.com system can be a simple solution to a difficult situation.

Filing:

When you use OnlineDivorce.com, we help you fill out your divorce paperwork using a simple online questionnaire. You can fill it out alone or with the assistance of your spouse. Then, you will need to get a signature from your spouse and you can file the divorce forms with your local court. In Pennsylvania, you will typically file with the courthouse in the county in which you currently reside. If a petitioner is not currently a resident, but a defendant is, divorce is typically filed in the county where the defendant resides.

The actual filing process is explained in our detailed court-filing instructions that we provide along with your completed divorce forms. You can also obtain assistance from your local courthouse by calling or stopping by.

After the initial filing, you may need to follow up if there are any issues with your documents. When you use OnlineDivorce.com, we allow you to make small adjustments to your forms as requested by the court at no additional charge. Our goal is to help you obtain your divorce with as little hassle and stress as possible using our online divorce documents preparation service.

Residency:

Every state has specific requirements where divorcing couples must establish residency within the state they are divorcing. Pennsylvania is no exception.

Either of the spouses must have been a resident of the state of Pennsylvania for at least six months before filing for divorce. [Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated; Title 23, Section 3104.] The divorce may be filed in a county where:

1

The defendant resides or

2

Where the plaintiff resides, if the defendant does not live in Pennsylvania;

3

It can be filed in the county where the marriage home was, if the plaintiff continuously resided in the same county;

4

Prior to six months after separation, and if the defendant agrees, the plaintiff resides;

5

Prior to six months after separation, and if neither spouse lives in the county of the marriage home, either spouse lives; and

6

After six months after separation, either spouse lives. [Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated; Title 23, Section 3104].

There are many ways to prove that residency has been established. The easiest way is if one or both spouses have a valid and in-date Pennsylvania driver’s license, ID card or voter’s registration card which was issued at least six months before filing for divorce. If this is not the case, it may be possible to establish residency, by having someone who knows you or your spouse testify that you have lived in the state for at least six months. Additionally, it may be possible to use an Affidavit of Corroborating Witness form, and it should serve as proof you’ve lived in the state a minimum of six months.

As for proving residency within a specific county, varies from county to county in Pennsylvania. More information will be provided as you work through the process of filling out your questionnaire on OnlineDivorce.com

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Valid grounds to get divorce in Pennsylvania

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Grounds for an online divorce using OnlineDivorce.com are the same as they would be for any divorce within the State of Pennsylvania. Grounds are merely the reason for divorce, and the state must approve them.

No-fault grounds are for a dissolution of the marriage, and in Pennsylvania,include:

#1

Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage with the spouses living separate and apart without cohabitation for two years or longer; or

#2

Irretrievable breakdown of a marriage and the spouses have both filed affidavits that they consent to the divorce moving forward.

In the case of no-fault ground:

#1

The court may delay the case for 90 to 120 days if it appears that there is a reasonable chance for reconciliation; and

#2

90 days must elapse after the filing for divorce before the court will grant a divorce. [Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated; Title 23, Section 3301].

General reasons for divorce in Pennsylvania include:

#1

Adultery (infidelity);

#2

Bigamy;

#3

Imprisonment for two or more years;

#4

Confinement for incurable insan­ity for 18 months;

#5

Willful desertion for one year;

#6

Cruel and inhuman treatment endangering the life of the spouse; and

#7

Personal indignities. [Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated; Title 23, Section 3301 and Pennsylvania Case Law].

OnlineDivorce reviews

Wesley H., Missouri

I started my divorce on my own, spending loads of money on lawyer visits in the beginning. So I decided to google for other ways and using this site was so much more simple!

James V., Texas

I had a very successful business at the time. So, making sure I had the right forms was very very important during my divorce. I was so surprised at how easy and smooth this process was.

Chloe J., Florida

After years of a tumultuous marriage, I finally decided that I needed to reclaim my life. I was looking for how to go about it and came across this site and they simplified and made the process of divorce easy for me. I never thought it would’ve been possible.

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Custody of the child in Pennsylvania

Custody of the child

Joint legal or physical or sole custody may be awarded based on the best interests of the child and upon a consideration of the following factors:

  • Which parent is the most likely to encourage, permit, and allow frequent, meaningful and continuing contact, including physical access between the other parent and the child;
  • Whether either parent has engaged in any type of violent, criminally sexual, abusive, or harassing behavior towards family members or others;
  • The preferences of the child or children; and
  • Any factor that affects the child’s physical, intellectual, or emotional well-being.
  • Both parents can be required to attend counseling sessions regarding child custody and how it affects the family. The recommendations of the counselor may be used in determining child custody. In shared custody situations, the court may also require the parents to submit a written plan for child custody to the court. [Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated, Title 23, Sections 5302, 5303, 5304, and 5305].

Rules for child support in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s standard child support rules and regulations will apply in almost every divorce case, barring extraordinary circumstances. Both parents’ gross incomes and some child related expenses will be considered as the child support is calculated. Child support continues until the child reaches age 18 and it may extend until the completion of secondary education in some cases.

Either or both parents can be ordered to provide child support as according to their ability to pay such support. The factors for consideration set out by statute are:

  • The net income of the parents;
  • The overall earning capacity of the parents;
  • The assets of the parents;
  • Any special or extraordinary needs of the child or the parents; and
  • Any out of the ordinary expenses.

Child support payments may be ordered to be paid to the Domestic Relations Section of the court. There are official child support guidelines which are available and these would be presumed correct unless there is a showing that this amount would be unjust or unfair under the particular circumstances of a case. The court can require that health insurance coverage is provided for any child if available at a reasonable cost. Child support payments can be ordered to be paid to the Domestic Relations Section of the court. [Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated; Title 23, Section 4322 and Pennsylvania Case Law].

Uncontested Pennsylvania divorce with children

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Rules for spousal support in Pennsylvania

Rules for spousal support

Alimony, which can be sometimes referred to as spousal support, may be ordered by the court to help a spouse live and comfortably exist in a manner established during marriage after the divorce. Assistance may be decided together upon by the couple before filing or it may be awarded by the court in a contested divorce case.

Alimony may be awarded to either spouse if necessary. In determining the alimony award, the following factors are considered:

  • Whether the spouse who seeks alimony lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her own needs;
  • Whether the spouse is unable to be self-supporting through appropriate employment for any reason;
  • Whether the spouse who seeks alimony is the primary caregiver of a child;
  • The time necessary to acquire sufficient education and training to enable the spouse to find ap­propriate employment and that spouse’s future earning capacity;
  • Any ongoing tax consequences;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The financial resources of the spouse seeking alimony, including marital property apportioned to such spouse and such spouse’s separate property;
  • The comparative financial resources of the spouses;
  • The needs and obligations of each spouse;
  • The contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including services rendered in homemaking;
  • The current age of the spouses;
  • The physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the spouses;
  • The probable duration of the need of the spouse seeking support and alimony;
  • The educational level of each spouse at the time they were married and the time necessary for the spouse to acquire sufficient education to find ap­propriate employment;
  • The contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;
  • The spouse’s sources of income, including medical, insurance, retirement benefits, inheritances, assets, and liabilities, and any property brought into the marriage by either spouse;
  • Any infidelity or marital misconduct; and
  • Any other factor the court deems fair and equitable.

There are official spousal support guidelines which are now in use in Pennsylvania and these would be presumed correct unless there is a statement show­ing that the amount would be somehow unjust or inappropriate under the particular circumstances of a case. Alimony payments may be ordered to be paid through the Domestic Relations Section of the court. [Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated; Title 23, Sections 3701, 3702, 3704, and 3706].

Property division in Pennsylvania

Property division

Pennsylvania is an “equitable distribution” state. Separate property that is:

  • Acquired prior to the marriage;
  • Acquired in exchange for any separate property;
  • Any gifts and in­heritances the spouses may have received; and
  • Any property designated as separate in a valid agreement between the spouses, will be retained by the spouse owning it.

All other marital property will be divided equitably, without regard to any marital misconduct, based on the following factors:

  • The contribution or dissipation of each spouse to the acquisition, preservation, depreciation, or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of each spouse as homemaker;
  • The age and health of the spouses;
  • The vocational skills of the spouses;
  • The value of each spouse’s property;
  • The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The ongoing tax consequences to each spouse;
  • The type of occupation held by the spouses;
  • The amount and sources of income of the spouses, including retirement and any other benefits;
  • The vocational skills of the spouses;
  • The continued employability of the spouses;
  • The liabilities and needs of each spouse and the opportunity of each for further acquisition of capital assets and income;
  • The standard of living which was established during the marriage;
  • Whether a spouse will have custody of any minor children;
  • Any contributions that were made to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;
  • Any prior marital obligations; and
  • Any other factor necessary to do equity and fairness between the spouses.
  • The court may require a spouse to purchase or maintain life insurance and name the other spouse as beneficiary. Both spouses will be required to submit an inventory and appraisal of their property. [Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated; Title 23, Sections 3501, 3502, and 3505].

Why us? Review the OnlineDivorce.com difference

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Contested Divorce

Average prices start at $2000

Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse. Costly attorney fees resulting in unforeseen expenditures. Lengthy and expensive option.

  • Attorney availability impacts completion time
  • Each spouse has to hire an attorney, which automatically doubles legal costs
  • Potential court battles add to the already high-stress levels
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The premier uncontested divorce tool

Fully-guided, fast and affordable process. Experienced and reliable online divorce service using top-notch technology.

  • Ready-to-file divorce documents can be completed at your own pace with easy access for both spouses
  • Award-winning customer support
  • One flat fee (for both spouses) to access all completed documents for filing
  • Free revisions and free name change, no hidden fees
  • Detailed state-specific filing instructions
  • Review all and make changes from the comfort of your own home
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Other Online Divorce Services

Average prices start at $300

Other websites for filling out divorce documents use flawed software technologies to complete your divorce documentation.

  • Automated document preparation
  • Processing time varies but may take more than three business days
  • On-demand customer support, quality varies
  • One flat fee claimed, however many sites have hidden fees
  • No experience: many sites started operating just a few years ago

Mediation support in Pennsylvania

If the court decides that there could be a reasonable chance for reconciliation, it may require the spouses to seek counseling for a period of time between 90 and 120 days. at the request of one of the spouses, up to three counseling sessions may be required. If no reconciliation agreement is reached and one of the spouses states that the marriage is broken beyond repair, a divorce will be granted. Counseling sessions can also be ordered by the court due to a child custody case and are mandatory if a parent has been convicted of any violent or abusive crime. [Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated; Title 23, Sections 3302 and 5303].

For those seeking to prepare their divorce papers using OnlineDivorce.com, utilizing divorce mediation can be a great tool to smooth out disagreements and prevent the case from going to court. This can be the simplest way to assure a fast, easy and affordable online divorce.

Divorce forms in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania forms produced by OnlineDivorce.com are court approved divorce forms. We have automated the process of filling them out to simplify matters and avoid any difficulties which may occur with filling out paperwork alone. By utilizing OnlineDivorce.com, you can simplify the process of preparing divorce documents and help both parties to move forward with their lives.

Divorce in Pennsylvania online

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Filing fees for divorce in Pennsylvania

When you file your divorce papers, the court will charge filing fees that may vary by county. These costs are in addition to the cost of using OnlineDivorce.com. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.

How long will it take?

The use of the OnlineDivorce.com service usually takes between 30 minutes and two hours or more depending on the complexity of your case. You’ll start filling out the questionnaire immediately and can either complete it in one sitting, or you can save your progress and complete it at a later date if that is more convenient for you.

Once you’ve gotten the documents complete, you will need to file them and get your spouse’s signature. You’ll have more information regarding the finalization of your divorce case once you complete your paperwork and submit it with the clerk of courts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I really file for divorce in Pennsylvania without a lawyer?

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, people are eligible to represent themselves in legal cases, including the dissolution of a marriage.

Such a divorce without a lawyer is subject to the same laws and rules as a legally-assisted divorce. The only distinction is that in a DIY divorce, the spouses take responsibility for completing the paperwork, resolving all the disputed issues, and any consequences of divorce.

Therefore, law experts usually do not recommend this option in contested divorces or cases where child-related matters or property division are at issue due to their complexity and high risks.

Do-it-yourself divorce can be a beneficial way to arrange the procedure for couples who agree about the key aspects of their separation.

An agreement gives a clear vision of what to expect from divorce, making it easier to handle it independently, or at least with limited-scope assistance, or using online divorce services.

How can I file for divorce in Pennsylvania without a lawyer?

Filing for divorce in Pennsylvania without a lawyer is the same as when the spouses seek legal assistance. The only difference is that in a DIY divorce, the spouses are responsible for the paperwork preparation.

To apply for divorce in Pennsylvania, the plaintiff (also called the petitioner) shall select the legal forms required under the circumstances of a particular divorce case, fill them out correctly, and file a complaint in the Common Pleas court.
At the moment of filing, the plaintiff should also pay a court filing fee, and thus, the divorce case officially starts.

Next, the spouse seeking a divorce has to notify the second party (called the defendant) about the case by delivering them copies of the documents.
This is called the serving process, and it has its peculiarities. For instance, though divorce forms must be handed to the defendant, the petitioner cannot do it personally. Instead, one can deliver the papers by mail or using a deputy sheriff's services or any adult who is not a party to the case.

More detailed rules concerning the serving process are outlined in Pennsylvania Family Law.

How much does it cost to get an uncontested divorce in Pennsylvania?

The cost of any divorce in Pennsylvania starts with the court filing fee (about $150). All the other expenses vary greatly depending on the type of divorce, any legal assistance the spouses use, and specialists they hire through different dissolution process stages.

Thus, it may be supposed that one of the most affordable ways to terminate the marriage is to arrange a DIY divorce. The spouses who have agreed about all the essential terms of their separation can proceed without an attorney and use the OnlineDivorce.com service to complete paperwork easier and faster.

How long do you have to live in Pennsylvania to file for divorce?

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, like other US states, requires that a couple intending to terminate a marriage meet the specific residency requirements of the jurisdiction before filing for divorce.

Thus, according to the Pennsylvania Code, at least one of the spouses must be a bona fide resident in Pennsylvania for at least six months before filing the petition.

How long do you have to respond to divorce papers in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, a divorce procedure officially starts when the defendant is served with the divorce papers. The defendant then has time to respond to the papers.

Under the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure, both spouses shall wait ninety days from the service of the Complaint before filing the consent forms.

How do you get a free divorce in Pennsylvania?

A completely free divorce in Pennsylvania is, in theory, available only if the petitioner qualifies for a fee waiver due to financial hardship and does not seek the help of attorneys or any other services.

To waive the court filing fees, the petitioner can prove to the court that he/she cannot afford to pay the fees and file a Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis with the court.

In all other cases, the dissolution procedure is not free, though an uncontested divorce without a lawyer can be much cheaper.

What papers do I need to file for a divorce in Pennsylvania?

The Pennsylvania legal forms typically required in an uncontested divorce case include but not be limited to:

  • Notice to Defend and Divorce Complaint
  • Acceptance of Service
  • Certificate of Service
  • Divorce Decree
  • Marital Settlement Agreement.
  • Affidavit of Consent of Plaintiff
  • Affidavit of Consent of Defendant
  • Waiver of Notice for Defendant
  • Notice of Intention to Request Entry of Section, Divorce Decree, and Counter-Affidavit

Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:

  • We provide the full divorce packet required by the local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online. In rare cases, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
  • We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
  • We give detailed, easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so the client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
  • We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
  • We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
  • We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 20 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.

I had no delays or any other complications when filing the forms with the court. I would definitely describe the service as reliable since all the pledges were honored.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Christopher A.