Common Questions About Divorce in Pennsylvania
Having over a 100 years of combined experience in the family law arena, our attorneys at Bunde & Roberts, P.C. have heard some of the same questions over and over throughout those years. Here are a few of the most common questions we are asked at the initial divorce consultation and their answers.
Do I need a lawyer?
Yes. Hiring an attorney is imperative, even if you believe the process will be non-adversarial for you and your spouse. An experienced attorney knows divorce law, knows the process, knows the state and local court rules, and will be by your side every step of the way to make sure you and your children are protected. Trying to handle a divorce may result in irreparable financial harm.
What are the grounds for divorce?
Divorce decrees in Pennsylvania are granted in one of three ways. The parties may consent to the divorce. The parties may have lived separate and apart for more than one year. One of the parties may have engaged in marital misconduct which would give rise to a divorce decree.
Should I consider counseling?
Yes. Some types of counseling may be beneficial when going through the divorce process, including: individual counseling, co-parenting counseling, and counseling for the children.
How long will the divorce process take?
The answer to this question is different for every divorce. The divorce process may last a matter of months and but may last up to a matter of years depending on the issues involved and the level of animosity. Several factors may affect the length of the case, including the complexity of the assets, the complexity of the debt, whether there are prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, and whether there are businesses to be valued.
What if my spouse does not want a divorce?
Pennsylvania law does not require a couple to stay married when one party wishes to divorce. However, there are certain requirements and time periods which must be met, in order for the divorce process to proceed.
Will I receive alimony?
Alimony is support paid by one spouse to the other. These are court-ordered payments that begin after the divorce decree is entered. Whether there will be alimony payments and the amount and duration of those payments may be agreed upon by the parties or determined by the court. Various factors are taken into consideration including the needs of the recipient, the relative earnings and earning capacities of the parties; the ages and physical, mental and emotional conditions of the parties; the duration of the marriage; the contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party, among others..
What will happen to my children?
Theparties by agreement, or the court in the absence of an agreement will determine the physical custody and legal custodyof the children. Physical custody means where the children sleep. Legal custody is the right to make major decisions on behalf of the child, including, but not limited to, medical, religious and educational decisions.
Contact a Pittsburgh Divorce Attorney Today
If you are thinking about getting a divorce or have already filed, now is the time to hire an experienced attorney to help you through this complicated legal procedure. Our skilled Pittsburgh divorce attorneys will give you step-by-step guidance to make sure you and your children are protected. Pick up the phone today and call Bunde & Roberts, P.C. for help.