Jana R. Barnett, Esq
(610) 478-1860


Attorney Jana R. Barnett represents persons who want to know their rights should they divorce, and who are in the process of being divorced.

There must be grounds for a divorce.  In Pennsylvania, the grounds for divorce are categorized as either “fault” or “no fault”.

In order to prove “fault”, a spouse must prove that the other spouse (1) willfully and maliciously deserted the home of the innocent and injured spouse for more than one year, (2) committed adultery; (3) endangered the life or health of the injured and innocent spouse by cruel and barbarous treatment; (4) knowingly entered into a bigamous marriage; (5) was sentenced to prison for a term of two or more years; or (6) offered such indignities that the life of the innocent and injured spouse became intolerable and burdensome.  While successfully proving fault can be emotionally satisfying, it can be financially expensive.

“No fault” grounds can be established by (1) the parties’ consenting to the entry of a decree of ninety (90) or more days after the complaint in divorce was filed; (2) the parties have lived separate and apart for at least two (2) years and the marriage is irretrievably broken; or (3) a spouse’s confinement in a mental institution for at least eighteen months, and likely continued confinement for an additional eighteen (18) months following the commencement of the divorce action.  Where the parties can agree that the marriage is over, emotional and financial resources can be spent on resolving economic claims.

If requested by one party, the court may require parties to undergo counseling three (3) counseling sessions when divorces are sought under the fault ground of indignities, mutual consent, and irretrievable breakdown.  The parties choose the person who will provide such counseling.  Even if counseling does not enable a couple to save a marriage, it can enable the couple to end their marriage in a more civil manner.

To read statutes and related materials, please use the drop-down menu.

If you need assistance with a divorce matter, call Attorney Jana Barnett at 610/478-1860 or e-mail her, and she will reply as quickly as possible.