Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill that will give victims of domestic violence more protection while pursuing their divorces. The bill is an amendment to the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes and it will allow individuals, who show that they were victims of crimes committed by their spouses, to move forward with their divorces in the same way as a consensual divorce would proceed.
State Rep. Mike Schlossberg made a statement about the signing of the bill in which he thanked his colleagues and the governor for supporting the new law. He said that the law will make sure that victims of abuse will not be forced to stay attached to their abusers through marriage.
Schlossberg further pointed out that before the new piece of legislation, spouses could get trapped in marriage for two years by an abusive spouse who refused to give them a consensual divorce. The situation caused abuse victims to have to continually be in the presence of their abusers. With the new law in place, abused spouses can protect their children and themselves from further abuse.
This law is certainly a boon for anyone who is abused by his or her spouse and can prove it to the courts. However, abused spouses are not always able to prove that abuse has happened, as these issues sometimes descend into he-said-she-said arguments that are difficult to provide hard evidence for. In cases where spouse feels trapped in a marriage situation — either economically trapped or trapped through emotional or physical abuse — these individuals can seek assistance from a Pennsylvania family law attorney to help them get out of their abusive marriage situations.
Source: The Philadelphia Tribune, “Williams calls for further judicial reform,” Damon C. Williams, April 29, 2016