Pike County Divorce Attorney
Divorce is an incredibly stressful life event. This is true for both you, your spouse, and your children. But there are multiple ways of proceeding with a divorce, some of which are more adversarial than others, which are discussed in more detail below.
Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce
It used to be that states required divorcing couples to prove grounds for a divorce. In other words, one or the other spouse had to blame the other for the breakdown of the marriage. Today, there are no fault-only states left with New York to be the last to integrate a no-fault system into their divorce laws. Now it is much more common to find states that only allow no-fault divorces. Pennsylvania, however, is not one of those states.
Pennsylvania allows divorcing couples to file for either a no-fault divorce or a fault-based divorce. When filing for a no-fault divorce, the spouses will identify their grounds as “irreconcilable differences” or “insupportability”. In other words, they will simply say that the marriage has broken down to the point that it is no longer repairable.
In a fault-based divorce, one spouse identifies some reason that caused the breakdown of the marriage. In other words, they blame the other spouse for the marriage’s breakdown. However, Pennsylvania only allows six fault-based grounds. Those are:
- And incarceration.
A spouse who brings fault-based grounds against another spouse must be prepared to prove their allegations in court.
No-Fault Divorce Does not Mean an Uncontested Divorce
Just because a couple files a no-fault divorce doesn’t mean that there won’t be issues that are hotly contested by either party. Issues like custody, property division, spousal support, and child support all need to be sorted out, often by a judge. In this case, each spouse’s attorney makes a case for their client’s interests and the judge makes a final ruling on contentious issues. There are, however, less adversarial ways to approach a divorce.
Divorce mediation is a second option on the table. Typically one divorce attorney oversees a process by which both parties attempt to come to a mutually agreed upon arrangement for distributing assets, managing custody, and determining support payments. This is the least contentious way of managing a divorce. It is also the least expensive.
Typically, contested divorces can take years to fully resolve as legal fees pile up on both sides. They also give ultimate control to the court to make key decisions. In addition, much of the proceedings become a matter of public record due to engagement with the courts. So many couples prefer mediation even if they’re far apart on key issues.
Somewhere between mediation and litigation lies collaborative divorce. This option is best for couples who don’t feel comfortable with mediation but also don’t feel comfortable dragging out the process indefinitely.
Talk to a Pike County Divorce Attorney Today
The attorneys at Farley & Bernathy LLC can help represent your interests during this emotionally taxing period. Give us a call or contact us online and we can discuss your options.