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Marriage, Divorce and Separation

Legal Information

Frustrated Woman.This section of PALawHelp.org has information and resources about Marriage, Divorce and Separation issues in Pennsylvania.

Click on a resource category listed below to see information related to that category.

Divorce Proceedings - Representing Yourself: Forms and Information from the Pennsylvania Courts

Free online information is available from the Pennsylvania Courts website to assist the growing number of Pennsylvanians who want to file their own family law cases in courts across the state. Standardized court forms for divorce proceedings may be obtained on this page of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania’s website.

PA Courts Public Access Policy - Filing Requirements in the Courts (Video)

Effective on January 6, 2018, a new Public Access Policy is in effect in Pennsylvania Courts. This policy imposes requirements on anyone filing court documents in the trial and appellate courts to safeguard information in the documents they file. The Pennsylvania Courts have released this series of videos that explain the judiciary’s new policy for protecting confidential information and the required steps you must take to protect that information when filing documents in the courts.

How to File a Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

This video from Laurel Legal Services provides an explanation of what In Forma Pauperis is (a request to file legal papers without having to pay the filing fee because you cannot afford to pay the fees) and line-by-line instructions on completing a petition to request permission to proceed without paying filing fees.

Local Forms and Self-Help Information

For local forms and information for your county, click the title to see the SELF-HELP FORMS AND INFORMATION sub-topic. Counties are listed alphabetically after some generally applicable forms or you can set your location on the page to see only forms applicable for that location.

How to File a Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

This video from Laurel Legal Services provides an explanation of what In Forma Pauperis is (a request to file legal papers without having to pay the filing fee because you cannot afford to pay the fees) and line-by-line instructions on completing a petition to request permission to proceed without paying filing fees.

Serving a Defendant (Video)

This video from Laurel Legal Services explains how to serve an opposing party (defendant) in a lawsuit with legal papers related to the lawsuit. Parties must be notified about court proceedings against them and provided with copies of legal papers filed in the proceedings. This video explains the proper and required legal way to notify them of the proceedings.

Annulments

Information on the annulment of marriage from the Erie County Bar Association.

Alimony

Information on the law concerning alimony from the Erie County Bar Association.

Common Law Marriage

Information on common law marriage from the Erie County Bar Association.

Collaborative Law

Consumer legal information brochure from the Pennsylvania Bar Association on Collaborative Law, a dispute resolution process that is an alternative to litigation. Rev. 1/13 [PDF]

Divorce

Information on divorce laws from the Erie County Bar Association.

Divorce and Separation

Consumer information pamphlet from the Pennsylvania Bar Association. [PDF]

Divorce in Philadelphia County

Brochure from Family Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association providing information on the divorce process in Philadelphia County.

How to Get Married

Information from the Erie County Bar Association on the legal requirements to get married.

Marriage Counseling

Information on marriage counseling from the Erie County Bar Association.

Same Sex Relationships

Information from the Erie County Bar Association on legal rights and options for individuals engaged in a same sex relationship in Pennsylvania.

Separation of Married Individuals

Information from the Erie County Bar Association on the legal issues involved when married people begin to live separately. (Feb 2019)

Divorce Proceedings - Representing Yourself: Forms and Information from the Pennsylvania Courts

Free online information is available from the Pennsylvania Courts website to assist the growing number of Pennsylvanians who want to file their own family law cases in courts across the state. Standardized court forms for divorce proceedings may be obtained on this page of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania’s website.

PA Courts Public Access Policy - Filing Requirements in the Courts (Video)

Effective on January 6, 2018, a new Public Access Policy is in effect in Pennsylvania Courts. This policy imposes requirements on anyone filing court documents in the trial and appellate courts to safeguard information in the documents they file. The Pennsylvania Courts have released this series of videos that explain the judiciary’s new policy for protecting confidential information and the required steps you must take to protect that information when filing documents in the courts.

Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

Costs to record, or “file” documents such as the complaint, vary from the type of document, or pleading, to the county in which you begin your case. Some court filing costs may be in the hundreds of dollars. If you cannot afford to pay these fees to the court, you will need to complete this form, In Forma Pauperis, a Latin term, referring to someone who cannot pay.

QDROs - The Division of Retirement Benefits Through Qualified Domestic Relations Orders

Information from the United States Department of Labor on whether and how to divide a participant's interest in a retirement plan in separation, divorce, and other domestic relations proceedings. This booklet was prepared by the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor to provide general guidance about qualified domestic relations orders to employers, retirement plan administrators, participants, beneficiaries, employee benefit professionals, and domestic relations specialists.

Local Forms and Self-Help Information

For local forms and information for your county, click the title to see the SELF-HELP FORMS AND INFORMATION sub-topic. Counties are listed alphabetically after some generally applicable forms or you can set your location on the page to see only forms applicable for that location.

Berks County: Domestic Relations Section of the Berks County Court of Common Pleas

Domestic Relations is a part of the Berks County Court of Common Pleas. It helps the Court establish and enforce Court Orders for child support and spousal support.

Serving a Defendant (Video)

This video from Laurel Legal Services explains how to serve an opposing party (defendant) in a lawsuit with legal papers related to the lawsuit. Parties must be notified about court proceedings against them and provided with copies of legal papers filed in the proceedings. This video explains the proper and required legal way to notify them of the proceedings.

McKean County Family Law Forms

Listing of Family Law forms available from the Court.

Serving a Defendant (Video)

This video from Laurel Legal Services explains how to serve an opposing party (defendant) in a lawsuit with legal papers related to the lawsuit. Parties must be notified about court proceedings against them and provided with copies of legal papers filed in the proceedings. This video explains the proper and required legal way to notify them of the proceedings.

Philadelphia County (Custody): Domestic Relations Information Sheet

Form from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in domestic relations proceedings, including Child and Spousal Support, Divorce, Child Custody, and Domestic Violence. taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Domestic Relations Information Sheet

Form from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section for use in domestic relations proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia: Proceedings in Philadelphia Family Court during COVID-19

Information from Philadelphia Legal Assistance on how to stay informed and access the Philadelphia Family Court, including how to file pleadings and attend virtual hearings.

Serving a Defendant (Video)

This video from Laurel Legal Services explains how to serve an opposing party (defendant) in a lawsuit with legal papers related to the lawsuit. Parties must be notified about court proceedings against them and provided with copies of legal papers filed in the proceedings. This video explains the proper and required legal way to notify them of the proceedings.

Philadelphia: Proceedings in Philadelphia Family Court during COVID-19

Information from Philadelphia Legal Assistance on how to stay informed and access the Philadelphia Family Court, including how to file pleadings and attend virtual hearings.

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