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06/23/2024 01:00 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: March 8, 2023 01:46 PM
From: Representative Kristine C. Howard
To: All House members
Subject: Modernizing Divorce
Pennsylvania’s current divorce law is a disgrace. Couples wishing to divorce must navigate a legal code established for the express purpose of preventing divorce. Endless barriers, ranging from forcible counseling to excessive fees, and, of course, the need to present the case to the Court of Common Pleas, a perpetually overworked level of our judiciary, result in unconscionable delays.

All of this in spite of the fact that marriage is a contract entered into freely and, in Pennsylvania, very easily. Current law makes it substantially harder to end a marriage than any other contract, and exponentially more difficult than creating the contract in the first place. This is a legal absurdity, one that results in people being forced to stay in bad marriages and prevents them from remarrying as their prior relationships remain in legal limbo.

For this reason, I will soon introduce legislation that will substantially rewrite the present divorce code, making it so that all divorces shall be granted at the request of either partner before a minor court for any reason, and that disputed issues, such as custody and property division, are bifurcated to a higher court for separate resolution.

Nobody should be forced by the state to remain in a failed or abusive marriage. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1120