How to get a divorce in pennsylvania

The differences between divorce, annulment and separation

An often contentious economic issue is alimony and spousal support. Spouses often disagree on whether alimony is appropriate, and if so, how much and for how long. If you believe you should receive alimony, we will fight for you to receive a fair amount. We are also experienced in fighting to limit or bar alimony. You and your spouse will take your requests before a Master, who is appointed by the court to conduct hearings and make recommendations.

Pennsylvania Divorce Guide

You will provide financial and other economic documents and a memorandum outlining your reasoning for your proposed settlement. The Master makes a recommendation that you and your spouse may or may not agree to. If you cannot reach an agreement, the issue of property division may then go before a judge. If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement , inform your divorce attorney right away and provide them with a copy of the contract.

These types of agreements may dictate a number of issues within your divorce, such as how assets and debts are divided and alimony. Your lawyer will review whether the agreement is likely valid and how it applies to the current situation. Then your attorney will analyze the best way to utilize the contract or fight against it in court.

If you and your partner are separating and had a cohabitation agreement, call us today. Discovery is the phase of a lawsuit during which the plaintiff and defendant exchange information. You and your spouse can request certain information and documentation from one another. For example, if you believe your husband or wife is hiding income from you or has been wasting shared income, then financial discovery is important. If you own a family business together or one of you owns a business, then you will handle business valuation issues during discovery.

The discovery period may last between 90 and days depending on the deadlines your attorney, the other party, and judge agree upon. We are here to answer your questions regarding:. Like with economic matters within your divorce, you and your spouse may choose or be required to go through negotiation to work out matters regarding your children. We are here to explain your rights and legal options in regard to developing a parenting plan and fighting for a fair amount of child support.

There are circumstances in which you may have the right to appeal a decision made by a judge during your divorce. We will review the circumstances and determine whether you can appeal the decision to a higher court. If you agreed to a settlement, it is challenging to appeal. There must be evidence that the settlement agreement is not valid such as due to fraud, duress, undue influence, a mistake of material fact, or fundamental unfairness.

Instead of appealing your divorce, you may wish to modify the divorce agreement. If you believe a provision of your divorce should chance because the circumstances or the information you have has changed, then call a lawyer today. It is possible to seek a modification or a divorce agreement, however, it can be challenging to convince a judge to modify an agreed upon settlement or court order. After your divorce is final, the process of separating your lives may not be over.

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It can often be difficult to enforce the terms of the divorce, such as receiving the property you were granted or receiving alimony payments. These situations can arise due to misunderstandings and hard feelings. In either case, the best way to resolve the issue is to work with an experienced divorce lawyer. There are numerous ways to enforce the provisions of your divorce order, and in certain circumstances, you may need to return to court.

Going through a divorce without a lawyer is difficult. You will not be familiar with Pennsylvania law surrounding divorce or child matters or with court procedures and rules. You will be at a disadvantage, particularly if your spouse hires an attorney.

Pennsylvania Divorce |

Your lawyer will also fight hard for you to obtain a fair outcome to the divorce. We will contact you within the hour unless you specify otherwise below if submitted during normal business hours. Please list any special contact instructions. Divorce in Pennsylvania. Consider the Type of Divorce You may consider legal separation before you file for divorce. There are two types of divorce: contested and uncontested. File for Divorce After considering the preliminary matters and type of divorce with your attorney, it is time to prepare the divorce complaint and file it in the appropriate court.

Begin Economic Settlement Negotiations While you and your spouse can fight for what you want in court, it is often better to negotiate a property settlement. Utilize Discovery Discovery is the phase of a lawsuit during which the plaintiff and defendant exchange information. Divorce Enforcement After your divorce is final, the process of separating your lives may not be over. Email Us for a Confidential Consultation This form will be securely sent to our attorneys. Name Message What is the best way to reach you? Please select all that apply.

Phone Email Phone. Under this temporary order a spouse may also receive attorney's fees, medical insurance coverage, and other expenses. Marital property generally means all property acquired during the marriage. Marital property includes the increase in the value of any property which one spouse acquired before the marriage or acquired by gift or inheritance, but not the property itself. It does not matter if the title to the property is in the name of only one spouse. A couple can agree to divide their property in any way they choose.

They may have the court make the agreement part of the court order.

Divorce in Pennsylvania

Except in unusual cases such as fraud, the court cannot modify a property division agreement as long as the parties fully disclosed their financial situations to each other and entered into the agreement knowingly and voluntarily. An agreement can be a good idea because it potentially saves parties money, time, and aggravation. However, if no agreement is possible, either spouse can ask the court to divide the marital property in a fair way. In deciding how to divide the marital property the court will consider many factors, such as the number of children, the parties' health, earning capacity, education, and their standard of living.

The court has the right to give more of the marital property to one party than to the other. As with alimony, a request that the court divide marital property must be made as part of the divorce action before the court finally grants the divorce. Unlike alimony and marital property, child support and custody do not have to be included in a divorce action.

These matters can be decided at any time, and in separate court actions. But if either party wishes, child support and custody can be included in a divorce case.

What’s the Fastest Way to Get a No-Fault Divorce in Pennsylvania?

A couple can make a written agreement about child support and custody and then have the court make the agreement part of a court order. If the parents cannot agree, either party can ask the court to decide these matters. Either party may ask the court to modify a child support or custody order at any time if it is in the child's best interest. For more information about Child Support and Child Custody, see separate brochures on these subjects. One of the purposes of the divorce law is to protect and preserve the family, especially where there are children. Therefore, the court can order counseling if either party requests it.

Some courts also require the parties to attend a seminar about how to help children deal with divorce. The costs of a divorce vary. Every court charges for bringing a divorce action. There may be additional costs where there must be hearings about alimony, support, or marital property. These costs can be very high.

Private attorneys also charge fees, which can vary widely. A person who cannot afford to pay court costs can ask the court to be excused from paying them. The court may grant the request if the person has a low income and little money to pay court costs. In some cases, the court may order one spouse to pay the other's reasonable attorney's fees. The law often changes. Each case is different. This pamphlet is meant to give you general information and not to give you specific legal advice. Please use the information found in this brochure carefully since the law is constantly changing and the information may not accurately reflect any changes in the law that occurred following the creation and publication of the brochure.

Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Pennsylvania?

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