A person with clasped hands rests them on a table covered with green grass. Surrounding the hands are five miniature models of different houses, each with distinct architectural designs and varying roof styles.

To kickstart your divorce proceedings, you must file a Complaint, which can be completed with the Notice to Defend and Claim Rights form and the Verification form. Then, your spouse must be served these documents within 30 days of filing if they live in Pennsylvania or within 90 days of filing if they live outside of the state. But before this can be executed, you must ensure that you and your spouse meet the state’s residency requirement for divorce so that the Pennsylvania court can properly establish jurisdiction. Continue reading to learn more about these requirements and how an experienced York County, PA divorce attorney at Ilkhanoff & Silverstein can walk you through this.

Do I need to remain in the same home to fulfill the residency requirement in the state of Pennsylvania?

With this being an emotional process, you may want to remove yourself from your spouse while you await your Judgement for Divorce from the Pennsylvania court. So, if you want to move out of your family home during your divorce proceedings, it is important to note that Pennsylvania law does not require you to remain at the same address to fulfill the residency requirements. This is so long as you can prove where you are living to the Pennsylvania court by presenting documents displaying your address.

What is the residency requirement for a divorce filing in the state of Pennsylvania?

Unique to most states, Pennsylvania has a relatively flexible residency requirement law. That is, to file for divorce in Pennsylvania, you or your spouse only must have lived in the state for at least 6 months before filing.

Importantly, you must file the divorce papers in the county where your spouse lives. If your spouse now lives in a different county than you, you have the following options:

  • You can file in the county where you both lived while you were married, given that you have lived in the same county continuously since you separated from your spouse.
  • You can file in the county where you live, so long as your spouse agrees to it.
  • You can file in the county where you live if your spouse moved out of state.
  • You can file in the county where either of you currently lives if neither of you still lives in the county that you lived in when you were married.

If you require further information on this matter, do not hesitate in reaching out to one of the skilled York County, PA family law attorneys as soon as possible.


If you need legal assistance with personal injury cases, criminal defense matters, family law issues, estate planning law matters, and more, contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today.