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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 26, 2021 03:54 PM
From: Representative Michael H. Schlossberg
To: All House members
Subject: Mutual Consent Divorce
Under current law, a divorce is granted by the court via mutual consent when both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.  Another method for a mutual consent divorce is when one spouse commits a personal injury crime against the other spouse.    
Sadly, in the marriages where a personal injury crime has occurred, which for various reasons may or may not be prosecuted, abuse has likely been committed within the context of the marriage.  As such, many victimized spouses are forced to remain in a toxic relationship until a personal injury crime has been adjudicated before they can be granted a mutual consent divorce.   And it is not only the spouse that suffers in these marriages.  Minor children may also be suffering physical and emotional abuse in the home that would end once a mutual consent divorce is granted.     
I believe it is imperative that we add additional provisions to the mutual consent divorce statute to get these victimized spouses and children out of harm’s way without unnecessary delay.   
As such, I am introducing legislation that would amend the mutual consent provision to allow the court to also grant a mutual consent divorce when a spouse has committed a personal injury crime against a minor child of the marriage or a minor child residing in the home.  In addition, my legislation would also grant a mutual consent divorce when a spouse has violated a protection of abuse order and the facts of which are the basis of the violation constitute a personal injury crime against the other spouse, a minor child, or a minor child living in the home.  
Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.