2010 Pennsylvania Code
Title 23 - DOMESTIC RELATIONS
Chapter 33 - Dissolution of Marital Status
3301 - Grounds for divorce.


                                CHAPTER 33
                      DISSOLUTION OF MARITAL STATUS

     Subchapter
        A.  General Provisions
        B.  Procedure
        C.  Attacks Upon Decrees

        Enactment.  Chapter 33 was added December 19, 1990, P.L.1240,
     No.206, effective in 90 days.

                               SUBCHAPTER A
                            GENERAL PROVISIONS

     Sec.
     3301.  Grounds for divorce.
     3302.  Counseling.
     3303.  Annulment of void and voidable marriages.
     3304.  Grounds for annulment of void marriages.
     3305.  Grounds for annulment of voidable marriages.
     3306.  Proceedings to determine marital status.
     3307.  Defenses.
     3308.  Action where defendant suffering from mental disorder.
     3309.  General appearance and collusion.
     § 3301.  Grounds for divorce.
        (a)  Fault.--The court may grant a divorce to the innocent
     and injured spouse whenever it is judged that the other spouse
     has:
            (1)  Committed willful and malicious desertion, and
        absence from the habitation of the injured and innocent
        spouse, without a reasonable cause, for the period of one or
        more years.
            (2)  Committed adultery.
            (3)  By cruel and barbarous treatment, endangered the
        life or health of the injured and innocent spouse.
            (4)  Knowingly entered into a bigamous marriage while a
        former marriage is still subsisting.
            (5)  Been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of two or
        more years upon conviction of having committed a crime.
            (6)  Offered such indignities to the innocent and injured
        spouse as to render that spouse's condition intolerable and
        life burdensome.
        (b)  Institutionalization.--The court may grant a divorce
     from a spouse upon the ground that insanity or serious mental
     disorder has resulted in confinement in a mental institution for
     at least 18 months immediately before the commencement of an
     action under this part and where there is no reasonable prospect
     that the spouse will be discharged from inpatient care during
     the 18 months subsequent to the commencement of the action. A
     presumption that no prospect of discharge exists shall be
     established by a certificate of the superintendent of the
     institution to that effect and which includes a supporting
     statement of a treating physician.
        (c)  Mutual consent.--The court may grant a divorce where it
     is alleged that the marriage is irretrievably broken and 90 days
     have elapsed from the date of commencement of an action under
     this part and an affidavit has been filed by each of the parties
     evidencing that each of the parties consents to the divorce.
        (d)  Irretrievable breakdown.--
            (1)  The court may grant a divorce where a complaint has
        been filed alleging that the marriage is irretrievably broken
        and an affidavit has been filed alleging that the parties
        have lived separate and apart for a period of at least two
        years and that the marriage is irretrievably broken and the
        defendant either:
                (i)  Does not deny the allegations set forth in the
            affidavit.
                (ii)  Denies one or more of the allegations set forth
            in the affidavit but, after notice and hearing, the court
            determines that the parties have lived separate and apart
            for a period of at least two years and that the marriage
            is irretrievably broken.
            (2)  If a hearing has been held pursuant to paragraph
        (1)(ii) and the court determines that there is a reasonable
        prospect of reconciliation, then the court shall continue the
        matter for a period not less than 90 days nor more than 120
        days unless the parties agree to a period in excess of 120
        days. During this period, the court shall require counseling
        as provided in section 3302 (relating to counseling). If the
        parties have not reconciled at the expiration of the time
        period and one party states under oath that the marriage is
        irretrievably broken, the court shall determine whether the
        marriage is irretrievably broken. If the court determines
        that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall
        grant the divorce. Otherwise, the court shall deny the
        divorce.
        (e)  No hearing required in certain cases.--If grounds for
     divorce alleged in the complaint or counterclaim are established
     under subsection (c) or (d), the court shall grant a divorce
     without requiring a hearing on any other grounds.

        Cross References.  Section 3301 is referred to in sections
     1702, 3103, 3302, 3307, 3323 of this title.

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