2019 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes
Title 23 - DOMESTIC RELATIONS
Chapter 33 - Dissolution of Marital Status
Section 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.--
(1) 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.
(2) The consent of a party shall be presumed where that party has been convicted of committing a personal injury crime against the other party.
(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 one year 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 one year 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.
(Apr. 21, 2016, P.L.166, No.24, eff. 60 days; Oct. 4, 2016, P.L.865, No.102, eff. 60 days)
2016 Amendments. Act 24 amended subsec. (c) and Act 102 amended subsec. (d). Section 2 of Act 102 provided that the amendment of subsec. (d) shall apply to periods of living separate and apart that commence after the effective date of section 2.
Cross References. Section 3301 is referred to in sections 1702, 3103, 3302, 3307, 3323, 6344 of this title.