Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes - Title 23 1701

Decree that spouse of applicant is presumed decedent.

(a) Finding of death.--When the spouse of an applicant for a marriage license has disappeared or is absent from the place of residence of the spouse without being heard of after diligent inquiry, the court, aided by the report of a master if necessary, upon petition of the applicant for a marriage license, may make a finding and decree that the absentee is dead and the date of death if notice to the absentee has been given as provided in subsection (d) and either of the applicants is and for one year or more prior to the application has been a resident of this Commonwealth. (b) Presumption from absence.--When the death of the spouse of an applicant for a marriage license is in issue, the unexplained absence from the last known place of residence and the fact that the absentee has been unheard of for seven years may be sufficient ground for finding that the absentee died seven years after the absentee was last heard from. (c) Exposure to specific peril.--The fact that an absentee spouse was exposed to a specific peril of death may be a sufficient ground for finding that the absentee died less than seven years after the absentee was last heard from. (d) Notice to absentee.--The court may require advertisement in any newspapers as the court, according to the circumstances of the case, deems advisable of the fact of the application for the marriage license, together with notice that, at a specified time and place, the court or a master appointed by the court will hear evidence concerning the alleged absence, including the circumstances and duration thereof. (e) Remarriage after decree of presumed death.--Even though the absentee spouse declared to be presumed dead is in fact alive, the remarriage of the spouse who has obtained a license to marry and a decree of presumed death of the former spouse shall be valid for all purposes as though the former marriage had been terminated by divorce, and all property of the presumed decedent shall be administered and disposed of as provided by Title 20 (relating to decedents, estates and fiduciaries).

Back to Pennsylvania Marriage Laws

More Pennsylvania Marriage Laws

Marriage Laws by State

Professional Wedding Officiant Certification Course

Learn from the Pros to Officiate with Confidence!

Will You Marry Us? Gift Package

Who Will Officiate Your Wedding?

Choose Your Officiant with our "Will You Marry Us?" Gift Package.

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Our premiere package contains everyting you need to officiate like a pro.

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

It's finally here! Timeless scripts and heartfelt vow inspiration to bring life to your ceremony.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter!

Checkout the AMM Blog

Stay up-to-date with the latest wedding industry trends.

Read our sample wedding ceremony scripts online

Sample Wedding Ceremony Scripts

Need inspiration? Check out our free ceremony scripts!

Wedding Officiant Training

Wedding Officiant Training

Everything you need to know to officiate.



Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!