Divorce: A Less Used Kind

Most Pennsylvanians get a no-fault divorce. There are two kinds. One kind allows you to get divorced, if your spouse consents. 23 Pa.C.S. § 3301(c). The second kind allows you to get divorced, if you have been separated for two years; you do not need your spouse’s consent. 23 Pa.C.S. § 3301(d). But what if your spouse will not consent and you do not want to wait for two years of separation? Is there an alternative?

Yes. There is a kind of divorce less often used. If you can prove one of the six following conditions at a hearing, the court may grant a divorce. 23 Pa.C.S. § 3301(a). First, your spouse has deserted your habitation for at least one year. Second, your spouse has committed adultery. Third, your spouse has endangered your life or health with cruel and barbarous treatment. Fourth, your spouse married you while still married to someone else. Fifth, your spouse has been sentenced to jail for at least two years. Sixth, your spouse has offered such indignities that your condition is intolerable and your life is burdensome. You only need to prove one of these conditions, not all six.

These six conditions have been simplified to provide a basic understanding of them and particular defenses may apply. If you wish to discuss whether you qualify for this kind of divorce, feel free to call our firm.

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Written by Attorney Andrew Glasgow
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