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What Information Must Be Included in a Divorce Complaint?

Posted By Cairns Law Offices || 21-May-2014

When one spouse files for divorce against the other spouse in the state of Pennsylvania, he or she must provide certain information in the divorce complaint. The person filing for divorce is called the "plaintiff" and the person who the divorce is filed against is called the "defendant." According to the state's legal code (The Pennsylvania Code Rule 1920.12), this includes the following information:

  • The names of both spouses (the plaintiff and the defendant)
  • The plaintiff's residence
  • The defendant's last known residence and current "whereabouts" (or names and addresses of relatives who would likely know the defendant's address or whereabouts)
  • The plaintiff's affirmation that at least one of the spouses has lived in the state for six months or more in the time immediately leading up to the divorce action
  • The marriage date and location
  • The grounds that the plaintiff is using for filing the divorce
  • Information about any previous divorces between the spouses
  • The plaintiff's affirmation that he or she has been informed of the availability of counseling (applicable for certain types of scenarios)
  • A "prayer for relief," or the plaintiff's statement of how he or she wants the court to rule on certain divorce terms, such as alimony, child support and child custody

When filing a divorce complaint, it is important that the plaintiff file in the correct venue. This would be a county in which either party resides or a county that both parties agree upon in writing. Both parties' participation in the divorce proceedings can also serve as proof that they have agreed on the venue.

The simplest type of divorce that is filed is a "no-fault" divorce that is uncontested. This means that the spouses are not using fault-based grounds for the divorce (such as infidelity or abandonment), and they instead are dissolving the marriage based on the grounds that the marriage is "irretrievably broken." A divorce is uncontested when both spouses agree to end the marriage.

Because these types of divorces are so much simpler than divorces that are fault-based and/or contested, our Pennsylvania uncontested divorce lawyer at Cairns Law Offices is able to get them filed more quickly and inexpensively. (Our law firm uses an online filing process.) We can get your divorce filed within minutes and a complaint emailed to you within just one day. For these types of divorces, we only charge $209, with no hidden charges. Contact our firm to learn more about this divorce option!