Divorce Solutions

Question #22

I live in PA with my wife of 12 years and our ten-year-old daughter. I came to the US 7 years ago, brought them on my work visa six years ago. My employer offered to sponsor my permanent residency. My wife is a very difficult person and has been in therapy for the last three years. It’s becoming unbearable for me, and I want out. The little she does for the family is under pressure from me. I have to juggle work (she finished her RN a year ago, but doesn’t have a work permit) and practically all family issues, from my daughter’s Halloween costume to finding my wife a gynecologist. Who would have jurisdiction over this divorce, given that we’re not permanent residents? 

Since you have been living in Pennsylvania for seven years and your wife has been there for six years, Pennsylvania should have jurisdiction over your divorce proceedings. Most states do not require citizenship or permanent residency to have authority over divorce matters, as long as you satisfy the residency requirements of the state, which is determined by time living in the state. Concerning the specific Pennsylvania state residency requirements, it would be best for two consults with an experienced attorney-mediator in Pennsylvania who can provide you with detailed counsel.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions