Pennsylvania Marriage Laws

1701 - Decree that spouse of applicant is presumed decedent


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Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes ? Title 23: Domestic Relations ? Part 2: Marriage ? Chapter 17: Miscellaneous Provisions Relating to Marriage

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).

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1701


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