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When You Need a Divorce Attorney: You Need Kelly Family Law, PLLC
The decision to get a divorce is not an easy one and should not be made without receiving legal advice from an experienced divorce attorney. The divorce process can be difficult both emotionally and financially for your family.
For most families, disposable income decreases dramatically, because it is simply more expensive to run two households than one. Therefore, it is a good idea to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney when you begin to seriously ponder ending your marriage.
After more than 15 years of experience, I know there are many benefits to getting an attorney’s advice before announcing to your spouse that you want a divorce. Kelly Family Law, PLLC wants you to receive all those benefits, so the process goes more smoothly and you begin the next stage of your life on secure ground.
What to do if you’re contemplating a divorce
Believe it or not, consulting a family law attorney before filing for divorce can help reduce your future legal fees. An experienced attorney can advise you on bank accounts, retirement accounts, debt and documentation that will be helpful to future proceedings.
A family law attorney can also help you reduce the financial impact of divorce proceedings on your family, presently and in the future. These financial considerations may include:
- Whether an award of spousal support is appropriate
- How much an award of alimony could be and how long such an award could last
- How courts calculate child support
- What impact could shared child custody have on child support
- Who might be responsible for paying the mortgage on the family residence
Reliable information and advice on these issues can bring peace of mind and a level of certainty to a difficult and uncertain time for your family.
Understanding Pennsylvania Divorce Proceedings
When a couple decides to get a divorce, there are a number of terms and phrases they will inevitably hear or read about. For example, clients often ask:
- What are the differences between a no-fault and fault divorce?
- What is a 3301(c) and a 3301(d) divorce?
- What does “equitable distribution” mean?
Becoming familiar with these legal terms can help you navigate the divorce process in a more confident and meaningful fashion.
Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania law provides for two types of divorce: fault and no-fault. Some of the circumstances that would allow a spouse to obtain a fault divorce include adultery, abandonment, and indignities.
A no-fault divorce, called a 3301(c) divorce for that section of the Pennsylvania Divorce Code, can be granted if both parties agree to the entry of a divorce. But, at least ninety (90) days must pass from the filing of the divorce complaint before the court can finalize the order.
Generally, people and attorneys shy away from fault-based divorce, which requires a formal court hearing to determine whether the innocent spouse has proven that fault grounds exist by sufficient evidence. Presenting any issue to the courts is generally a very expensive and time-consuming process. It is also emotionally difficult, because it requires the parties to relive the most difficult and painful parts of their marriage in front of strangers.
But, what if one party wants a divorce and fault grounds do not exist?
Pennsylvania Divorce Code §3301(d) provides for divorce if the parties have lived separate and apart for a period of time. For all divorce actions commenced in 2017 and thereafter, the period is one year. In Chester County, before the court grants either a no-fault or fault divorce, the parties must have reached an agreement or otherwise resolved all of their economic issues.
If you are contemplating divorce, I can discuss all of these options with you. After reviewing the facts of your case, I can provide an individualized course of action that focuses on your specific needs.
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