Divorce In Philadelphia

Divorce In Philadelphia | How to Get a Divorce & Process (Guide) 2024

Marriage and divorce are often associated with strong emotions and romantic notions, but it’s important to remember that they are fundamentally legal procedures. Marriage establishes a contractual agreement between two individuals, while divorce legally terminates that agreement.

Although the emotional aspects can be challenging, having a clear understanding of the process for filing a divorce in Philadelphia can empower you and alleviate some of the overwhelming aspects. 

In this article, we will explain about Divorce In Philadelphia.

How to File for Divorce in Philadelphia County

How to File for Divorce in Philadelphia County

Several processes and formalities are involved in filing for divorce in Philadelphia County. You can better navigate the legal requirements if you are aware of the procedure.

While this information offers a broad overview, it’s crucial to get advice from a qualified family law attorney or the Prothonotary’s Office for advice that is suited to your particular circumstances. An instruction manual for filing for divorce in Philadelphia County is provided below:

Parents Name
Wages & Income
Non-Custodial Parent
Custodial Parent

Step 1: Gather Information and Prepare Documents

Gather any pertinent information prior to starting the divorce process, including your name, date of marriage, the reason for the divorce, the number of children you have, and the value of your assets and debts.

Prepare the required paperwork, such as the Complaint for Divorce, which details the grounds for divorce and provides a brief background on the parties.

Step 2: Check Residency Requirements

Verify that you or your spouse satisfies Philadelphia County’s residency requirements before filing for divorce. Before filing for divorce, at least one spouse in Pennsylvania must have resided there for at least six months. You may file your paperwork there if you or your spouse reside in Philadelphia County.

Step 3: File the Complaint for Divorce

You should file your divorce complaint in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Prothonotary. Make several copies of the complaint and any supplementary materials. At the time of submission, pay the necessary filing fee. The prothonotary’s office will give your case a docket number.

Step 4: Serve Divorce Papers

Serve your spouse with a copy of the filed divorce complaint. Ensuring your spouse has received the proper divorce notice is important.

You can serve divorce documents in Philadelphia County using a variety of techniques, including personal service by a sheriff or private process server, certified mail, or acceptance of service. To ensure the validity of service, adhere to the specific guidelines and standards for serving divorce papers.

Step 5: Spouse’s Response

A deadline has been set for your spouse to reply to the divorce complaint. You may automatically file for divorce if your spouse doesn’t reply within the stipulated period. If they reply, your spouse may object to the divorce or bring up concerns about child custody, child support, or property split.

Step 6: Negotiation and Settlement

Negotiate and discuss a settlement with your husband, directly or with attorneys’ help. The aim is to achieve agreements on crucial problems, including child custody, support, alimony, and the division of assets and debts.

The negotiation process may be facilitated by the use of mediation or other alternative dispute resolution techniques.

Step 7: Court Hearings and Proceedings

Court hearings can be required if you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement or if there are contentious issues.

The court will weigh the evidence, hear the arguments, and render a ruling regarding child custody, support, alimony, and property distribution. Throughout the proceedings, adhere to the court’s rules and directives.

Step 8: Finalize the Divorce

The court will issue a final divorce decision once all matters have been resolved. The marriage is formally dissolved by this judgment. Follow the court’s instructions on any post-divorce obligations, such as adhering to any financial or custody arrangements.

Where to File for Divorce

Where to File for Divorce

Knowing where to submit your case is crucial while seeking a divorce in Philadelphia. The filing procedure may vary depending on the particulars, but the information provided here will help you determine where to start your divorce proceedings in Philadelphia.

The Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania primarily handles divorce matters. The Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County is in charge of handling a variety of cases, including divorces and cases that are related to them.

Therefore, you will petition for divorce at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas if you or your spouse both live in Philadelphia.

You must make the required paperwork and deliver it to the proper court to start the filing procedure. When completing your documentation, it’s critical to guarantee correctness and completeness since the court requests specific forms and information.

You can navigate the filing requirements and make sure you satisfy all requirements by seeking the help of an expert family law attorney.

A Complaint for Divorce is normally completed as the first step in the divorce filing procedure in Philadelphia. This paper summarizes the reasons for divorce and gives a general overview of the parties. The reasons for divorce must be specified because Pennsylvania accepts both fault-based and no-fault grounds.

Mutual consent and irretrievable breakdown of the marriage are two common no-fault grounds for divorce, although fault-based grounds can include infidelity, abandonment, cruel and inhumane treatment, and more.

Additionally, you will be needed to pay the required filing fee when submitting your documents. As the filing price is subject to change, confirming the most recent amount with the Prothonotary’s Office is advisable.

You must serve your spouse with a copy of the divorce complaint after you file it. Making sure your spouse is properly informed of the divorce proceedings is ensured by the service of process.

You have a few options in Philadelphia for serving divorce papers, including acceptance of service, certified mail, personal service by a sheriff or private process server, and personal service.

To ensure the validity of the service, it’s crucial to adhere to the specific guidelines and standards for serving divorce documents.

The case will go through several stages once the divorce has been filed, including negotiations, settlement discussions, and even court hearings.

The Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure, which specify the standards and timetables for divorce cases, are followed by Philadelphia County. You can manage the procedure successfully by becoming familiar with these regulations and receiving legal counsel.

Remember that divorce proceedings may also entail issues of child custody, child support, alimony, and property partition.

These matters can be dealt with either during the divorce or in a separate proceeding. Understanding your rights, obligations, and options with regard to these issues requires speaking with an experienced family law attorney.

Philadelphia County Divorce Filing Fees

Philadelphia County Divorce Filing Fees

Knowing the necessary filing fees is crucial when requesting a divorce in Philadelphia County. Confirming the most recent prices with the Prothonotary’s Office of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas is essential, as these fees are liable to change.

The following details give a basic picture of the divorce filing costs in Philadelphia County as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021:

1. Filing Fee

To initiate a divorce case, you must pay a filing fee when submitting your Complaint for Divorce to the Prothonotary’s Office. The filing fee covers the cost of processing your case and adding it to the court docket. The specific amount can vary, so it’s recommended to inquire about the current fee when filing your divorce papers.

2. Entry of Appearance Fee

If your spouse files an Entry of Appearance in response to your Complaint for Divorce, they may be required to pay an entry of appearance fee. This fee is typically lower than the filing fee and is associated with the administrative costs of the court processing the appearance document.

3. Motion Fees

During the divorce process, you may need to file various motions for different purposes, such as requesting temporary support or modifying custody arrangements. Each motion filed with the court may incur a separate fee. The amount will depend on the specific motion and its complexity.

4. Subpoena Fees

If you need to issue subpoenas to gather evidence or call witnesses to testify in your divorce case, there may be fees associated with obtaining and serving these subpoenas. The fees can vary depending on the number of subpoenas required and the method of service.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that these costs are additional to any legal costs you might have to pay if you decide to retain legal counsel to represent you throughout the divorce process. The complexity of your case and the attorney’s hourly rate or fee schedule might affect the cost of legal services.

It is advised to speak with the Prothonotary’s Office or an experienced family law attorney to get correct and current information on divorce filing fees in Philadelphia County. They can give you the most recent price schedule and help you comprehend the monetary implications of your divorce file.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Philadelphia County

Grounds for Divorce in Philadelphia County

Like the rest of Pennsylvania, divorces in Philadelphia County may be granted on either a fault-based or no-fault basis. These reasons serve as the official justification for divorcing someone. The following grounds are accepted in Philadelphia County for divorce:

1. No-Fault Grounds:

-Mutual consent

A divorce may be issued if both spouses consent. They must both sign an affidavit attesting to their agreement. The typical waiting period following the filing of the divorce case is 90 days.

-Irrecoverable Failure

This basis may be used when a marriage is irretrievably dissolved with no prospect of reunion. The most frequent no-fault reason for divorce requires a waiting time of one year of separation.

2. Fault-Based Grounds:

– Adultery

It is grounds for divorce if one spouse participates in voluntary sexual activity with someone other than their spouse.

 – Desertion

Desertion is a legal basis for divorce when a spouse departs the marital residence without cause and with no intention to return for at least a year.

– Cruel and barbaric treatment

Physical or mental abuse that jeopardizes the innocent spouse’s life or health might be used as justification for divorce.

– Bigamy

If one spouse marries again while the former marriage is still legally binding, the other spouse may file for divorce on the grounds of bigamy.

– Imprisonment

If one spouse receives a minimum two-year prison sentence, the other spouse may seek divorce on this basis.

– Institutionalisation

One spouse may file for divorce from the other if the other has been confined to a mental institution for at least 18 months with no realistic chance of being released.

It is vital to consider the grounds for divorce that are appropriate for your situation. You can better comprehend the consequences of each ground and choose the strategy that will work best for your case by consulting a family law attorney.

While defending your rights and interests during the divorce proceedings in Philadelphia County, they will offer assistance throughout the legal process.


It’s essential to seek assistance for divorce in Philadelphia from an experienced family law attorney who can defend your interests, give you individualized counsel, and walk you through each divorce process step.

They can assist you in navigating the particular procedures and difficulties of divorce in Philadelphia County, making sure that your rights are upheld and that you come to a just conclusion.


How much does a divorce in Philadelphia cost?

The cost of submitting is $333.73. You have three payment options: money order, debit card, and credit card. Cash and personal checks are not accepted. By submitting a petition to proceed in Forma Pauperis (IFP), you can request an exemption from paying the filing fee if you are unable to do so.

Does Pennsylvania have a fault divorce law?

Divorce is not based on fault in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has two different no-fault divorce procedures: separation and mutual consent. When both parties are willing to acknowledge that the marriage is irretrievably shattered and consent to the divorce, a mutual consent divorce is an option.

What is the Pennsylvania divorce separation period?

In Pennsylvania, there is no situation where a marriage automatically dissolves after a certain amount of time has passed. The one-year separation time is crucial, though. One spouse may approach the court to approve their divorce after a year of separation.

Who makes a gift following a divorce?

Alimony is given to the spouse if they don’t have enough money or aren’t employed in a career that would allow them to support themselves after the divorce. Although the Indian legal system allowed for alimony to be paid to any spouse, in practice, husbands typically give their wives the money.

In Pennsylvania, are online divorces legal?

Yes, you can file for divorce in Pennsylvania online. You won’t require legal representation in the majority of online divorce proceedings. You won’t need a lawyer if your divorce is straightforward and you and your spouse agree to get an uncontested divorce.

Does adultery impact divorce in PA?

According to Pennsylvania law, adultery is a fault-based basis for divorce. Due to their adulterous actions, the cheating spouse is to blame for the divorce. Adultery can have an impact on spousal support and alimony in divorce cases.

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