While I think that I have done what I can on my website to make these points clear, I fear that many folks still have a mistaken impression about who must live where and when to file a Pennsylvania low-cost, simple, uncontested, no-fault divorce. Let’s see if that can be cleared up in an easily understood manner.
First, only ONE of the two parties MUST actually reside in Pennsylvania (and “reside” means really live here, going to sleep and getting up in Pennsylvania for every single day in a row for at least six straight months… owning property, growing up here, having a PA driver’s license etc. do not count if you have not been sleeping and getting up here). And, of course, it is fine if BOTH parties live here.
Second, if only one party qualifies as a Pennsylvania resident, EITHER party – the PA resident or the one not residing here – can be the one who becomes my client and files the divorce. There is no travel to my office or Court. Accordingly, if you are living in, say, Nebraska, but your spouse qualifies as a PA resident, YOU OR your spouse may file the low-cost, simple, uncontested, no-fault divorce here in Pennsylvania.
Third, once the divorce action has been filed IN COURT – merely contacting or hiring or getting paperwork from a Pennsylvania lawyer is NOT filing the divorce action IN COURT- then either OR both parties may leave Pennsylvania, permanently or temporarily, and the Pennsylvania low-cost, simple, uncontested, no-fault divorce may continue until it is final. Naturally, if only one party resided in Pennsylvania when the action was filed in Court, then THAT party may also move out of PA and the divorce can still be finished here with neither party then residing here.
Over the many decades since Pennsylvania enacted no-fault divorce in 1980 and I, at the same time, began my low-cost, simple, uncontested, no-fault divorce practice, I have represented parties who have resided all over the United States and in many, many other countries in cases where their spouses resided in Pennsylvania. Conversely, I have represented parties who resided in PA but whose cooperative spouses lived in many other states and countries.
Summing up, to file a Pennsylvania low-cost, simple, uncontested, no-fault divorce, EITHER party may reside in PA and, as long as THAT is the case, EITHER party may be my client and be the one who files the divorce.
One final word of advice: Having done this since 1980, I have learned many things. One thing is that if you want to be divorced, depending on the other party to file and follow-through is a very bad idea. They just keep saying that they will do it or, even worse, lie that they have done it. Similarly, waiting for the other party to help you pay for the divorce almost always results in your staying married much longer. With me as your low-cost, simple, uncontested, no-fault divorce lawyer, you can begin for as little as $25 and have complete control of the process, minimizing your reliance on the other party. Does that not make the most sense?