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LegalKnowledge, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  10+ years handling Legal, Real Estate, Criminal Law, Family Law, Traffic matters.
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Is it possible that I have been abused to the point of considering

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Is it possible that I have been abused to the point of considering suicide throughout a marriage of 23 years without him ever laying a hand on me?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good afternoon. I am sorry to hear about the situation and understand your concern. Mental abuse is very hard to deal with, especially over 23 years. Would you mind clarifying for me what exactly you want to know, in regard to this? Are you looking to divorce this man?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes! But will need him to continue to financially support me. I am no longer able to work
Lisa, thank you for the additional information. You certainly have every legal right to divorce him. I have provided the PA statute below for your review, to evidence what the Judge will want to see ( i.e. grounds). In addition, the law does allow you to receive support both during the divorce proceedings and after. I have provided those statutes as well, to evidence your ability. This would need to be requested when you file and the burden would be on you to show the need. Statute 3701 details what the Judge will be looking for and what you need to show.

§ 3301. Grounds for divorce.
(a) Fault.--The court may grant a divorce to the innocent
and injured spouse whenever it is judged that the other spouse
(1) Committed willful and malicious desertion, and
absence from the habitation of the injured and innocent
spouse, without a reasonable cause, for the period of one or
more years.
(2) Committed adultery.
(3) By cruel and barbarous treatment, endangered the
life or health of the injured and innocent spouse.
(4) Knowingly entered into a bigamous marriage while a
former marriage is still subsisting.
(5) Been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of two or
more years upon conviction of having committed a crime.
(6) Offered such indignities to the innocent and injured
spouse as to render that spouse's condition intolerable and
life burdensome.
(b) Institutionalization.--The court may grant a divorce
from a spouse upon the ground that insanity or serious mental
disorder has resulted in confinement in a mental institution for
at least 18 months immediately before the commencement of an
action under this part and where there is no reasonable prospect
that the spouse will be discharged from inpatient care during
the 18 months subsequent to the commencement of the action. A
presumption that no prospect of discharge exists shall be
established by a certificate of the superintendent of the
institution to that effect and which includes a supporting
statement of a treating physician.
(c) Mutual consent.--The court may grant a divorce where it
is alleged that the marriage is irretrievably broken and 90 days
have elapsed from the date of commencement of an action under
this part and an affidavit has been filed by each of the parties
evidencing that each of the parties consents to the divorce.
(d) Irretrievable breakdown.--
(1) The court may grant a divorce where a complaint has
been filed alleging that the marriage is irretrievably broken
and an affidavit has been filed alleging that the parties
have lived separate and apart for a period of at least two
years and that the marriage is irretrievably broken and the
defendant either:
(i) Does not deny the allegations set forth in the
(ii) Denies one or more of the allegations set forth
in the affidavit but, after notice and hearing, the court
determines that the parties have lived separate and apart
for a period of at least two years and that the marriage
is irretrievably broken.
(2) If a hearing has been held pursuant to paragraph
(1)(ii) and the court determines that there is a reasonable
prospect of reconciliation, then the court shall continue the
matter for a period not less than 90 days nor more than 120
days unless the parties agree to a period in excess of 120
days. During this period, the court shall require counseling
as provided in section 3302 (relating to counseling). If the
parties have not reconciled at the expiration of the time
period and one party states under oath that the marriage is
irretrievably broken, the court shall determine whether the
marriage is irretrievably broken. If the court determines
that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall
grant the divorce. Otherwise, the court shall deny the
(e) No hearing required in certain cases.--If grounds for
divorce alleged in the complaint or counterclaim are established
under subsection (c) or (d), the court shall grant a divorce
without requiring a hearing on any other grounds.

§ 3701. Alimony.
(a) General rule.--Where a divorce decree has been entered,
the court may allow alimony, as it deems reasonable, to either
party only if it finds that alimony is necessary.
(b) Factors relevant.--In determining whether alimony is
necessary and in determining the nature, amount, duration and
manner of payment of alimony, the court shall consider all
relevant factors, including:
(1) The relative earnings and earning capacities of the
(2) The ages and the physical, mental and emotional
conditions of the parties.
(3) The sources of income of both parties, including,
but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other
(4) The expectancies and inheritances of the parties.
(5) The duration of the marriage.
(6) The contribution by one party to the education,
training or increased earning power of the other party.
(7) The extent to which the earning power, expenses or
financial obligations of a party will be affected by reason
of serving as the custodian of a minor child.
(8) The standard of living of the parties established
during the marriage.
(9) The relative education of the parties and the time
necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to
enable the party seeking alimony to find appropriate
(10) The relative assets and liabilities of the parties.
(11) The property brought to the marriage by either
(12) The contribution of a spouse as homemaker.
(13) The relative needs of the parties.
(14) The marital misconduct of either of the parties
during the marriage. The marital misconduct of either of the
parties from the date of final separation shall not be
considered by the court in its determinations relative to
alimony, except that the court shall consider the abuse of
one party by the other party. As used in this paragraph,
"abuse" shall have the meaning given to it under section 6102
(relating to definitions).
(15) The Federal, State and local tax ramifications of
the alimony award.
(16) Whether the party seeking alimony lacks sufficient
property, including, but not limited to, property distributed
under Chapter 35 (relating to property rights), to provide
for the party's reasonable needs.
(17) Whether the party seeking alimony is incapable of
self-support through appropriate employment.
(c) Duration.--The court in ordering alimony shall determine
the duration of the order, which may be for a definite or an
indefinite period of time which is reasonable under the
(d) Statement of reasons.--In an order made under this
section, the court shall set forth the reason for its denial or
award of alimony and the amount thereof.
(e) Modification and termination.--An order entered pursuant
to this section is subject to further order of the court upon
changed circumstances of either party of a substantial and
continuing nature whereupon the order may be modified,
suspended, terminated or reinstituted or a new order made. Any
further order shall apply only to payments accruing subsequent
to the petition for the requested relief. Remarriage of the
party receiving alimony shall terminate the award of alimony.
(f) Status of agreement to pay alimony.--Whenever the court
approves an agreement for the payment of alimony voluntarily
entered into between the parties, the agreement shall constitute
the order of the court and may be enforced as provided in
section 3703 (relating to enforcement of arrearages).

§ 3702. Alimony pendente lite, counsel fees and expenses.
In proper cases, upon petition, the court may allow a spouse
reasonable alimony pendente lite, spousal support and reasonable
counsel fees and expenses. Reasonable counsel fees and expenses
may be allowed pendente lite, and the court shall also have
authority to direct that adequate health and hospitalization
insurance coverage be maintained for the dependent spouse
pendente lite.
LegalKnowledge and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Lisa. I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. I am not a particularly religious person, nor do I know if you are, but I would appreciate it if you would say a prayer for me. I am all alone in this, no kids, no family. Thanks again.
You are welcome and I only wish the best for you in this difficult time.