Lake Wallenpaupack Divorce Attorney
Divorce affects people differently. For some people, the divorce strikes like a bolt out of the blue, completing surprising them. For other people, they have seen divorce on the horizon for years but have avoided splitting up, often for the children. There is no “typical” divorce in Pennsylvania.
If you are considering divorce, or if you have received divorce papers, you need an experienced Lake Wallenpaupack divorce attorney to represent your interests. A divorce completely unwinds a couple’s financial union, and you have many important decisions to make. To protect your rights, you need an advocate who has your best interests at heart.
Grounds for Divorce
Pennsylvania law provides both fault and no-fault options. With fault, you identify who is responsible for the marriage ending and the reason why. The fault grounds in Pennsylvania include:
- Cruel treatment
- Imprisonment for at least two years
- Indignities that made the marriage intolerable
Divorce is also obtainable where the marriage has broken down. This is the “no fault” option. If both spouses agree that the marriage has broken down, then they can file an affidavit to that effect 90 days after starting the divorce proceedings. If the parties do not agree, one spouse will need to submit an affidavit stating they have lived apart for at least two years.
In a divorce, you will need to settle:
Child custody. Custody includes the right to make legal decisions involving medical care and education, as well as the amount of time each parent will have physically with the children.
Child support. Children are entitled to enjoy each parent’s income, regardless of whether they live with the parent. Child support is based on the state’s guidelines.
Division of marital property. Pennsylvania law requires that marital property be divided “equitably,” which does not necessarily mean “equally.”
Division of marital debts. Marital debts must also be divided in a divorce.
Alimony (called “spousal support”). In some situations, one spouse will need to pay money to the other spouse, either in a lump sum or in periodic installments. Alimony can have many purposes, such as rehabilitating one spouse so he or she can get a job.
Couples are free to reach an agreement between themselves on these issues, which should dramatically speed up the divorce process. They can draft a separation agreement and both sign it. To encourage agreement, you might even have to attend counseling or mediation, where you meet with a neutral third party who can help the couple reach common ground.
Unfortunately, agreement is not always possible, and you need an attorney who has the experience to fight for what you want.
Experienced Lake Wallenpaupack Divorce Attorneys
For many, divorce is an emotionally exhausting experience. Others breathe a sigh of relief. Regardless, every person going through a divorce needs to carefully assess what they hope to get out of the divorce so that they can move forward in a productive way.
At Farley & Bernathy LLC, our team has extensive experience handling different divorces, from simple separations to the most complex. For a free initial consultation, please call or submit an online contact form.