West Chester, PA 19380
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Lee Ciccarelli is the founder and managing partner of Ciccarelli Law Offices with over two decades experience as a practicing attorney.
These locations are available by appointment only
One of the first questions you may have after the decision to get a divorce is where to actually file for the process. You may have gotten married in a different state, or even a different country. You could have been married in West Chester, but now live in another city or state. Pennsylvania has jurisdiction laws that pertain to divorce that dictate where you should file.
If you are a resident of Pennsylvania and are seeking to terminate your divorce, but are not sure where you should file, our West Chester divorce lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices can help. Our team of knowledgeable attorneys can review the details of your particular situation and advise the next best step. If you do file in Chester County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Philadelphia, or Lancaster County, we can also be your advocate during the divorce process.
Call us at (877) 529-2422 today to set up a free consultation to learn more about your options and the involved process. Our office and meeting locations are located conveniently in West Chester, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Plymouth Meeting, Kennett Square, Radnor, Malvern, Springfield, and King of Prussia.
Pennsylvania Statutes Title 23, Section 3104 lays out the requirements for jurisdiction for divorce cases in the Commonwealth. Jurisdiction is a legal term meaning what courts have the power to decide issues in legal matters.
Under the law, Pennsylvania courts may decide a divorce or annulment if one of the spouses has domiciled in Pennsylvania for at least six months prior to the date of filing. It must be immediately prior to the filing date.
For instance, if you lived in West Chester for 10 years and got married here, but moved to New York after being separated and have lived there for a month, you would not be able to file for divorce here — unless the spouse you are seeking to divorce has remained here. On the other hand, if you lived in another state, separated and moved to Kennett Square, for example, and have lived there for six months, you can file here.
You must also file for divorce in a court in the proper Pennsylvania county. If you are the person filing, you have several options:
It's important to file in the correct county. If you file in the wrong county and your spouse objects, the divorce complaint can be thrown out and you will have to start over. Our family law attorneys can review your situation and advise you where to file.
After a divorce is granted, there are often matters relating to that divorce that still must be decided in courts, including ongoing matters of child custody or visitation and support. If that divorce was granted outside the state, you can still file to litigate those matters in Pennsylvania if you meet the residency requirement.
For instance, if you were divorced in Ohio, moved to Pennsylvania a year ago and are now seeking to enforce a support order, you may file to do so in Pennsylvania so long as there is no intervening federal law.
A highly experienced divorce lawyer at Ciccarelli Law Offices can help you determine where to file and represent you in the subsequent proceedings. We proudly fight for the rights of our clients throughout West Chester, Downingtown, Coatesville, Lancaster, Lititz, Ephrata, Norristown, Villanova, King of Prussia, Media, and nearby areas