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It is critically important that your divorce is filed in the correct jurisdiction. A jurisdiction is a state. I practice law in the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania. A county is not a jurisdiction, a county is a venue. I have even seen lawyers confuse and misuse jurisdiction and venue. 

For a simple, uncontested, low-cost, no-fault divorce, you may pick your venue (county), but you may not pick your jurisdiction. You must file your divorce in the state where you have resided for a period of time (in order to become a resident of that state). Pennsylvania requires that you live here for 6 months before you may file. And “living” means actually living, not owning realty, “using” a friend’s or relative’s address, having a PA driver’s license, growing up here in the past or having a post office box. If your residency is not legally proper, the divorce would be forever fatally flawed.

So, do you need a lawyer in the state where your spouse lives to file a divorce there? As explained above, as long as the divorce is filed in the state where you or your spouse lives, you’re good. If you, but not your spouse, live in Pennsylvania and you, not your spouse, file the divorce, you may file it in Pennsylvania using a lawyer who practices law in Pennsylvania. If you wish, you may file your divorce in your spouse’s state, but then you indeed would need to use a lawyer who practices law in that state. Accordingly, if you reside anywhere in the world – not just the USA – except Pennsylvania, but your spouse resides here in Pennsylvania, I can represent you and file your divorce here (and you would not have to travel here to my office or Court).