For a court of any state to grant a divorce, it must have jurisdiction over the case. Jurisdiction means the power of the court to hold hearings and decide a case. Ordinarily, a court obtains jurisdiction in a divorce case when at least one of the spouses has lived in the state for a certain period of time. Pennsylvania requires six months of residence before filing a divorce case.
Six Months in Pennsylvania
The court's jurisdiction is based on just one of the spouses living in Pennsylvania. However, being a resident of Pennsylvania for six months doesn't mean that a person has to stay in Pennsylvania for six months. Instead, the law requires that the person's home has been in Pennsylvania for at least six months, and that the person intends to continue to live in Pennsylvania. The person's spouse need not be a Pennsylvania resident for the divorce to proceed.