Laws on Divorce in Pennsylvania
Divorce is often marked by many emotions experienced by both spouses. It is a kind of death, as it signifies the end of a relationship that was entered into as a perfect union.
When one or both spouses seek the dissolution of marriage in Pennsylvania, one spouse begins the process of divorce by filing a complaint against their spouse in the appropriate county court. A divorce is like any other lawsuit in that it starts with the filing and service of a complaint.*In order to file for divorce in PA, one spouse must have resided in the state for at least 6 months before the complaint is to be filed.*
In Pennsylvania, there are two types of divorce proceedings: Fault, and no-fault. You can achieve a no-fault divorce in a few ways, and the quickest path to divorce in PA is through an uncontested, no-fault divorce.
If a divorce is contested, the contesting spouse will have to prove that the marriage failed as a result of the other spouse’s fault. This is a lengthy legal process that is both expensive, and often difficult to prove in court. Two positions must be proven: That the other spouse is at fault; and that the plaintiff had no faulty behavior of their own during the marriage which contributed to its demise.
Marital Property & Division of Assets/Debts
Most marital partnerships will have to undergo the legal process of dividing marital properties, assets and debts before the divorce decree can be granted. If the marriage was entered into with a prenuptial agreement , then this phase may be significantly shortened. However, the passage of time and/or the changing of circumstances will warrant that any prenup be carefully reviewed during your divorce.
How we can help… It can be especially helpful to a spouse to have a different divorce attorney review and re-evaluate the terms of a prenuptial agreement with a fresh set of eyes. The benefits of an unbiased prenuptial review and evaluation have been tremendous to our clients.
The normal accumulation of property, other assets and debts during a marriage requires the legal principle of “equitable distribution” be applied under PA law before a divorce is finalized.
How we help… Attorney Dana Richardson is specifically qualified to review, evaluate and negotiate contracts and agreements between parties. She has a legally trained and watchful eye for terms, conditions, loopholes and potential pitfalls in any contractual language.
Dissolving the partnership of marriage usually takes an emotional toll on each spouse, and that toll is compounded when children are involved. A parent will want to ensure that their child/ren will be financially provided for, and that they can continue to live as closely to their pre-divorce lifestyles as possible.
How we can help… You can depend on us to fully advocate in a court of law on your behalf to protect you and your children’s best interests, both now, and in the future. Settling debts, income and assets in a way that is practical and fair to you and your children is what we do. Demonstrating to the Court that our settlement proposal is the most equitably sound and manageable one is where our expertise lies.
Child Custody is another area of Family Law where we excel in our track record of getting our clients the custodial arrangements that best meet their family’s particular needs. Our clients trust their family’s futures with us. We act on this trust by returning to them the highest levels of legal competence, confidence and privacy possible. Some of our past clients want you to know how we go above and beyond their best expectations. Their success stories can be found here on our website.
Alimony Pendente Lite: Getting Temporary Income During Divorce
If you are worried about getting finances during divorce, you may be awarded an APL order, as well as have your legal divorce fees ordered paid by your spouse.
Dividing marital assets and debts also creates difficulty and uncertainty during the divorce process. The stress of uncertainty while divorce is pending can be heightened when one spouse earns significantly more income than the other.
In this case, there may be an income-dependent spouse who can petition the court for alimony pendente lite. Pendente lite is Latin for “pending litigation.”
How we help… Temporary spousal support or APL should be requested as soon as possible because it is often ordered by the court as a measure ensuring that each spouse has equal footing to both maintain their part of the divorce proceedings, and to defend against any issues that arise from them. Tibbott & Richardson Family Law practice has ample success and experience obtaining APL orders for our clients.
Divorce can have long-term repercussions when not handled properly. Each party to a divorce needs to have experienced and well-qualified legal representation in their corner to negotiate the terms of the divorce that will best serve their interests now, and in the future.
The stakes are high. We understand this, and we know how to proceed on your behalf so you can be confident the resulting terms of your divorce and marriage settlement agreement will allow you to move forward with your life. Call a Tibbott & Richardson divorce attorney today for a free initial consultation.