Distance Makes Divorce Harder, But Not Impossible
When a couple begins to drift apart, they often agree to take time to themselves to reevaluate their relationship and their future. At this time, many opt to find their own places, with the move sometimes even bringing a spouse to another state.
If your marriage is decidedly over, you can still pursue divorce, even if your spouse is no longer a Pennsylvania resident. Their physical presence is not required to receive a divorce decree.
Ensure You Meet Residency Requirements
While you may still pursue divorce with an out-of-state spouse, as the petitioner, you yourself must meet specific residency requirements before proceeding. In order to file for divorce in Pennsylvania, you must have lived in the state for at least six months prior.
Where Do I File?
If your spouse has moved out of Pennsylvania, you may begin the divorce process by filing in the county where you currently live. After you file your papers, your spouse will have:
- 60 days to respond to your complaint if living in another state
- 90 days to respond to your complaint if living in another country
So long as you properly serve your spouse, you can get divorced regardless of if your partner responds to the papers.
State courts recognize that travel fees can become excessive, and, in response, offer a variety of filing options for couples residing in different states. If your divorce is based on mutual consent, for example, your partner does not have to appear before a judge.
If your attempts to serve your spouse have failed, or your spouse is not is not cooperating with the divorce, you will have to file for a unilateral divorce after the mandatory one-year waiting period.Cairns Law Offices can help you pursue divorce regardless of where your spouse lives. Contact us today online or at (888) 863-9115 for more information.