What is Divorce?
Divorce is the process by which a marriage is legally ended. In Pennsylvania, a divorce can be granted by the court as either fault or no-fault. Most often divorces are granted as no-fault in cases where the parties have irreconcilable differences. This is the quickest and easiest way to get a divorce. Some divorces, however, are granted based on the “fault” of one of the parties. Fault grounds include malicious desertion, adultery, imprisonment and/or indignities. Divorce cases range from the simple and uncontested to the complex.
An action for divorce is commenced with the filing of a Divorce Complaint in the Court of Common Pleas. In addition to requesting the court to grant a divorce, the complaint may also include counts involving the following issues:
- Equitable Distribution (division of marital assets)
- Child Support
- Spousal Support / Alimony / Alimony Pendente Lite / Counsel Fees
- Child Custody
Will You Have To Go To Court?
You may complete the entire divorce process without ever having to go to court. Often times each party will retain the services of an attorney and the attorneys will exchange information and negotiate a settlement of all issues in your case. This settlement becomes a written court order and your case is completed. Other times the couple getting divorced has already agreed on what they want to do before ever seeing the lawyer. In this situation the lawyer sees to it that the proper paperwork is processed according to the rules of the court and makes sure that you will not have any problems in the future. In all cases an attorney is necessary to ensure that you are treated fairly and that your case is handled properly so that you will not have future problems.
These are questions that I can answer. Because a lot of people are using the courts, the process is backed up and takes a long time – months and even years. It can be expensive, in terms of time and dollars and can be very stressful. I think court should be a last resort in divorce and family law cases. I am an experienced trial lawyer, and will not hesitate to take a matter to court and vigorously assert your rights when necessary. But usually, I find that it is in your best interest to avoid trials by putting pressure on the other side to compromise. Of course you need to be fully involved in making those decisions that will so profoundly affect your life. I will explore with you the various options available, to find the approach that will work best for you and your family. My experience and reputation usually results in your case being resolved fairly without a trial and at a much lower cost to you.