Must fault be proven to obtain a Pennsylvania divorce decree?

No. Since 1980, all Pennsylvania counties including, but not limited to, Allegheny, Beaver, Washington and Westmoreland Counties in Western Pennsylvania have adopted no-fault grounds for divorce. Pennsylvania no-fault divorces can be finalized anytime after ninety days has expired after the date the Pennsylvania divorce complaint is filed with the court and served upon the defendant if both spouses will sign documents called Affidavits of Consent which indicate their consent to the entry of the Pennsylvania divorce decree. In PA, if either spouse refuses to sign the Affidavit of Consent, a divorce decree cannot be entered until two years have expired from the spouses’ date of separation. In most cases, fault based grounds, even if they exist, are not pursued. Fault based grounds for Pennsylvania divorces are generally based upon adultery or abandonment of the marriage without just cause.

However, there are some situations when adultery or fault may be used a defense to the payment of money to a spouse. A spouse may loose their entitled to spousal support where a divorce complaint has not yet been filed and may also loose their entitled to alimony if they have committed adultery or another of the traditional fault based defenses.

Contact our Pittsburgh divorce lawyers if you are considering a separation from your spouse or filing for divorce. Don’t trust the advice of your friends or family, get experienced legal advice prior to making life-changing decisions.


The statements in this section are based on Pennsylvania law and have been issued to inform and not advise. The statements are general in nature and individual facts in a given case may alter their application or involve other laws not referred to here.

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