Divorce Overview

Pennsylvania recognizes that the family is the basic unit in society and the protection and preservation of the family is of paramount public concern. Therefore, the Pennsylvania legislature established a set of policies regarding the dissolution of marriage.


The policies are set forth in 23 PA.C.S.A. § 3102 and are as follows:

  • Make the law for legal dissolution of marriage effective for dealing with the realities of matrimonial experience.
  • Encourage and effect reconciliation and settlement of differences between spouses, especially when children are involved.
  • Give primary consideration to the welfare of the family rather than the vindication of private rights or the punishment of matrimonial wrongs.
  • Mitigate the harm to the spouses and their children caused by the legal dissolution of marriage.
  • See causes rather than symptoms of family disintegration and cooperate with and utilize the resources available to deal with family problems.
  • Effectuate economic justice between parties who are divorced or separated and grant or withhold alimony according to the actual need and ability to pay of the parties and insure a fair and just determination and settlement of their property rights.


Pennsylvania has established a set of laws (the PA Divorce Code) in order for individuals to seek dissolution of a marriage in a fair, orderly fashion, taking into consideration the complexities of children and property. The PA Divorce Code sets forth, in great detail, laws with respect to how a party can establish the grounds for divorce, requirements to proceed with a divorce, counseling, annulments, property rights, equitable division of marital property, alimony and support, and mediation.


Pennsylvania has also established a set of laws (PA Child Custody Laws) for dissolution of marriages or separations that involve children. The PA Child Custody Laws specify the types of physical and legal custody and provisions for establishing custody, effects of criminal convictions, counseling and relocations.


The PA Divorce Code and the PA Child Custody Laws often do not provide clear answers to particular situations. When this happens, the courts get involved. Judges will hear testimony and evidence for divorce cases, child custody cases, division of property cases, and the like and will sometimes render written decisions including their opinions as to how they arrive at their decisions. Those opinions will apply to that particular case and the decision will have a direct effect on the parties involved. Moreover, these opinions are often followed by other judges in subsequent cases with similar circumstances. Therefore, it is extremely important for individuals seeking dissolution of a marriage to retain the assistance of legal counsel with experience in divorce matters.


The experienced divorce attorneys at The Martin Law Firm know the PA Divorce Code and the PA Child Custody Laws and they stay current with new court rulings and trends in the family law arena.The Martin Law Firm attorneys will use this knowledge and expertise to help their clients make important decisions throughout the divorce process. With proper guidance, the attorneys can help their clients avoid risks of court intervention, expedite the process through written agreements, and save their clients time and money. Contact an experienced family law attorney at The Martin Law Firm today at 215-687-4053.