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More information is available on the Coronavirus Information Page.

Filing a No Fault Divorce under § 3301 (d) of the Divorce Code
Living Separate and Apart
Self Help - Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas

To file under §3301(d) the parties must have lived separate and apart for a period of at least one (1) year.

This informational section is for reference and research purposes. This section explains the basic forms needed for a plaintiff to file a simple No Fault Divorce in Pennsylvania when the parties have lived separate and apart for a period of at least one (1) year.

Divorce in Pennsylvania involves important legal rights involving money, property, and custody of children. The forms provided on this website are not appropriate for everyone. If you and/or your spouse have property, such as real estate, automobiles, life insurance, pension and retirement benefits, stocks, bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, or other assets and debts, you should seek the advice of an attorney. Marital property is all property acquired during marriage, regardless of whose name is on a title, policy, or account. IF YOU DO NOT FILE A CLAIM FOR ALIMONY, DIVISION OF PROPERTY, LAWYER'S FEES OR EXPENSES BEFORE A DIVORCE IS GRANTED, YOU MAY LOSE THE RIGHT TO CLAIM ANY OF THEM.

State and Local Court Rules Must Be Followed.

If the Defendant is serving in the military, then STOP and consult an attorney.

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Before you begin using the forms on the computer, print a copy of the checklist. This printable checklist is meant to be used in conjunction with this self-help section.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: To complete the divorce successfully, you must follow all instructions on the checklist and on the forms exactly as written. You must also record the dates on which you take certain steps on the printed checklist so that you have those dates to complete other forms later in the process. If you fail to do the steps in the proper order, fail to complete steps, or fail to keep track of dates, you risk having your divorce denied. Completing the divorce process is your responsibility. No additional assistance is available.

General Instructions To Parties With No Lawyer

There are complex rules of law that everyone who comes to court must follow. You must follow these rules even though you are not a lawyer because the rules exist to provide an orderly process to reach a fair conclusion. Click here

  • Complete the following form:
    • Praecipe for self-representation pdf
Section 1 - Complaint Preparation
  • Complete the following:
    • Complaint Packet: (Form 4 Complaint and Form 3 Notice to Defend and Claim Rights) pdf
    • Form 10 Affidavit under §3301(d): pdf
    • Form 12 Counter Affidavit Under §3301(d) pdf
Section 2 - E-Filing the Complaint Packet
Option 1 E-filing at the Lehigh County Courthouse
  • Take the following to the Lehigh County Courthouse, Clerk of Judicial Records room 122.
    • Completed, signed and printed Praecipe for self-representation form.
    • Completed, signed and printed Complaint Packet.
    • Completed, signed and printed Affidavit under §3301(d) (Form 10)
    • Blank copy of Counter Affidavit Under §3301(d) (Form 12)
    • Cash, Money order or Credit/Debit Card to cover divorce filling fees. No personal checks will be accepted. Note when using a Credit/Debit Card a service fee will be added. For filing fees see the Civil Fee Schedule.
  • Give the completed, signed and printed forms to the Civil Clerk at the window.
  • Pay all filing fees.
    NOTE: For an additional $1.00 per page conversion fee, the Civil Clerk will E-file your documents for you at the window when you pay, then you may skip the Kiosk.
  • Proceed to Kiosk to E-file original documents.
  • You will receive one (1) time-stamped complimentary copy for your records.
  • You MUST make an additional copy of the time-stamped Complaint packet and both Affidavit Forms for Section 3-Serving the Defendant by Certified mail.
Option 2 E-filing from your personal computer
  • Register at https://lehigh.tylerhost.net/ofsweb.
    Information regarding registration, independent filer instructions, and Family Court Guidelines are available under the Self-Help section of the Lehigh County Odyssey File & Serve site at https://lehigh.tylerhost.net/ofsweb.
  • E-filing a new action, choose "Start a New Case" from the Filer Dashboard.
    • Select the Family category and select your case type.
    • Enter the party names/addresses.
    • Select each filing code.  After selecting the filing code, you will be able to upload the document.
    • Confirm your payment information.
    • Submit the filing to the review queue.
  • A notification will be sent upon acceptance or rejection of the filing.  An acceptance notification will contain the case number assigned and the time-stamped document(s). Print one (1) time-stamped copy of the Complaint Packet and both Affidavit Forms for Section 3-Serving the Defendant by Certified mail.
Section 3 - Serving the Defendant by Certified mail

Time deadline of Service

The Plaintiff must serve the defendant with the Complaint (form 4), the Notice to Defend (form 3), Affidavit under §3301(d) (form 10) and a blank copy of th Counter Affidavit under §3301(d) (form 12) within 30 days of the date that Forms 3, 4, 10 and 12 were filed with the Clerk of Judicial Records or within 90 days if the Defendant does not live in the state of Pennsylvania.

Manner of Service

Certified mail, return receipt requested, restricted delivery

Step 1 Preparing Complaint packet and Affidavit's for Service
  • Address an envelope to the defendant
  • Put the following in the envelope addressed to the defendant:
    • one (1) timed stamped Complaint packet Containing:
      • Complaint Packet (Form 3 and 4)
      • Form 10 Affidavit Under §3301(d)
      • Form 12 Blank copy of Counter Affidavit under §3301(d)
Step 2 Going to the Post Office
  • Take your printable Checklist that contains instructions on how to send Certified mail, return receipt requested, restricted delivery
  • Take the envelope addressed to the defendant containing Complaint packet
  • Take money for postage
Step 3 Completing Domestic Return Receipt (green post card form 3811)
  • Obtain Domestic Return Receipt from the post office
  • Complete according to instructions on your printable checklist

If you are unsuccessful or unable to serve the Defendant, then STOP and consult an attorney.

Section 4 - Proof of Service

When you receive the Domestic Return Receipt (green post card Form 3811) signed by the defendant do the following:

Step 1. Form Preparation
  • Complete the following forms and print the number of copies indicated on each form.
    • Form 5D Affidavit of Service of Complaint:pdf
    • Form Exhibit A:pdf
Step 2. Attach
  • Attach the Domestic Return Receipt (green post card Form 3811) to Form Exhibit A.
Section 5 - E-Filing Proof of Service

NOTE: Exhibit A with attached Domestic Return Receipt must be scanned to pdf. If you do not have a scanner, you may E-file at the Clerk of Judicial Records as described in Option 1.

Option 1 E-filing at the Lehigh County Courthouse
  • Take the following to the Lehigh County Courthouse, Clerk of Judicial Records room 122
    • Completed, signed and printed Form 5D Affidavit of Service
    • Exhibit A with attached Domestic Return Receipt (green post card Form 3811) signature side up
    • Cash or Credit/Debit Card to cover fees. No personal checks will be accepted. Note when using a Credit/Debit Card a service fee will be added.
  • Choose to E-file at the Kiosk or by the Civil Clerk.
    • Proceed to Kiosk to E-file original documents at no cost.
    OR
    • Give completed, signed and printed forms to the Civil Clerk at the window.
    • Pay conversion fee of $1.00 per page. The Civil Clerk will E-file your documents for you.
  • You will receive one (1) time-stamped complimentary copy for your records.
  • Retain original Domestic Return Receipt (green post card Form 3811) for records.
Option 2 E-filing from your personal computer
  • Log into your OFS account https://lehigh.tylerhost.net/ofsweb
  • Choose "File into Existing Case" from the Filer Dashboard.
    • Select each filing code.  After selecting the filing code, you will be able to upload the document.
    • Confirm your payment information.
    • Submit the filing to the review queue.
Section 6 - Allow 20 days for Defendant's response

If you were able to complete Section 4-Proof of Service and Section 5-E-filing Proof of Service, you now have proof that you served the Complaint Packet (Form 3 and 4) Affidavit Under §3301(d) (form 10) and a blank copy of Counter Affidavit under §3301(d) (form 12) on the defendant.

  • You must wait 20 days from the date of service to allow the defendant to respond before proceeding to the next section. Date of service is the date the defendant signed the green post card Form 3811.
  • Do not continue to the next section until after the 20 day waiting period.
  • If the defendant does respond by filing documents, then STOP and consult an attorney.
Section 7 - Notice of Intention to Request Divorce Decree

NOTICE: Before starting this section, you must be prepared to complete and PRINT these forms and mail them to the Defendant the same day. You are announcing your plans to ask the court for a divorce decree after 20 additional days.

Step 1. Form Preparation
  • Complete the following:
    • Form 14 Notice of Intention and Blank Copy Cover Letter | pdf
    • Form 12 Counter Affidavit Under §3301(d) pdf
    • Form 11 Notice of Intention to Request Divorce Decree: pdf
    • Form 8 Proposed Praecipe to Transmit Record: pdf
Step 2. Mail documents
  • Address an envelope to the Defendant
  • Put on (1) copy of the following in the envelope address to the Defendant
    • Completed, signed and printed Form 14 Notice of Intention and Blank Copy Cover Letter
    • Form 12 Blank Counter Affidavit Under 3301(d)
    • Completed, signed and printed Form 11 Notice of Intention to Request Divorce Decree
    • Form 8P Proposed Praecipe to Transmit Record
  • Mail to the Defendant by First Class Mail
Step 3. Form preparation Certification of Service
  • Complete the following
    • Form 13 Certification of Service: pdf
Section 8 - E-Filing Certification of Service
Option 1 E-filing at the Lehigh County Courthouse
  • Take the following to the Lehigh County Courthouse, Clerk of Judicial Records room 122.
    • Completed, signed and printed Form 13 Certification of Service
    • Completed, signed and printed Form 14  Notice of Intention and Blank Copy Cover Letter.
    • Form 12  Blank Counter Affidavit Under § 3301(d)
    • Completed, signed and printed Form 11  Notice of Intention to Request Divorce Decree
    • Form 8  Proposed Praecipe to Transmit Record
    • Cash, Money order or Credit/Debit Card to cover divorce filling fees. No personal checks will be accepted. Note when using a Credit/Debit Card a service fee will be added. For filing fees see the Civil Fee Schedule.
  • Give the completed, signed and printed forms to the Civil Clerk at the window.
  • Pay all filing fees.
    NOTE: For an additional $1.00 per page conversion fee, the Civil Clerk will E-file your documents for you at the window when you pay, then you may skip the Kiosk.
  • Proceed to Kiosk to E-file original documents.
  • You will receive one (1) time-stamped complimentary copy for your records.
Option 2 E-filing from your personal computer
  • Log into your OFS account https://lehigh.tylerhost.net/ofsweb
  • Choose "File into Existing Case" from the Filer Dashboard.
    • Select each filing code.  After selecting the filing code, you will be able to upload the document.
    • Confirm your payment information.
    • Submit the filing to the review queue.
Section 9 - Allow 20 day for Defendant's Response

You must wait 20 days from the date you mailed the Notice of Intention/Proposed Praecipe Packet in Section 7 to allow Defendant to respond before proceeding to the next section.

If the Defendant does respond by filing documents, then STOP and consult an attorney.

Section 10 - Final Praecipe to Transmit Record
  • Complete the following:
    • Form 8 Praecipe to Transmit Record: pdf>
    • Form 9 Decree: pdf
Section 11 - E-Filing Praecipe to Transmit Record
Option 1 E-filing at the Lehigh County Courthouse
  • Take the following to the Lehigh County Courthouse, Clerk of Judicial Records room 122.
    • Completed, signed and printed Form 8 Final Praecipe to Transmit Record
    • Completed Form 9 Decree
    • Cash, Money order or Credit/Debit Card to cover divorce filling fees. No personal checks will be accepted. Note when using a Credit/Debit Card a service fee will be added. For filing fees see the Civil Fee Schedule.
  • Give the completed, signed and printed forms to the Civil Clerk at the window.
  • Pay all filing fees.
    NOTE: For an additional $1.00 per page conversion fee, the Civil Clerk will E-file your documents for you at the window when you pay, then you may skip the Kiosk.
  • Proceed to Kiosk to E-file original documents.
  • You will receive one (1) time-stamped complimentary copy for your records.
Option 2 E-filing from your personal computer
  • Log into your OFS account https://lehigh.tylerhost.net/ofsweb
  • Choose "File into Existing Case" from the Filer Dashboard.
    • Select each filing code.  After selecting the filing code, you will be able to upload the document.
    • Confirm your payment information.
    • Submit the filing to the review queue.

We recommend that you use the printable checklist.

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Disclaimer
The forms and instructions that are available from this website are not a substitute for professional legal advice. Court employees cannot give you legal advice or help you fill out /complete the forms. It is your responsibility to read and complete the forms and to take required steps to file and serve the documents. If you decide to use these forms in an actual action, be prepared to spend appropriate time gathering information, completing forms and following the Rules of Court. The Court assumes no responsibility for the use of these forms and accepts no liability for actions taken by using these documents, including reliance on the instructions and/or contents. To obtain legal advice and to insure the proper use of this material, you should contact a lawyer.

If you want to obtain the service of an attorney, but do not know whom to contact, you should visit the Lehigh Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service website.

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