Lawrence County Divorce Procedures
In Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, an action for divorce begins with the preparation of a PA divorce complaint by a Lawrence County divorce lawyer. Thereafter, the Lawrence County divorce complaint is filed with the County's Prothonotary's office and served upon the defendant in the divorce action.
The Lawrence County equitable distribution process (division of marital assets and debts) begins with both spouses (along with their Lawrence County divorce lawyers) completing Inventory and Appraisements, and engaging in either formal or informal discovery to determine the marital and non-marital assets, debts, and income of each spouse.
A Lawrence County divorce decree, as a general rule, cannot be entered until equitable distribution of the parties' assets has been resolved by agreement of the parties or after a hearing and court order. In many cases, the parties will be able to agree upon the distribution of the assets and debts, and can memorialize the agreements in a Marriage Settlement Agreement, or a Property Settlement Agreement. If there is no agreement on the terms of divorce or equitable distribution, then it will proceed to the Master's Hearing.
A Lawrence County Divorce Master will only be appointed if the case is at issue. Either party must file a Motion to Appoint a Master with the Lawrence County Prothonotary on a prepared form. A Master, appointed by a Judge, is able to hear all contested issues related to the divorce case, including equitable distribution. In Lawrence County, the Master will be an attorney who is a member of the Lawrence County Bar Association in good standing. The Master will hold a hearing, at which the Lawrence County divorce lawyers will present evidence for their side.
The Lawrence County Divorce Master will issue a Report addressing all issues raised in the Lawrence County divorce complaint, which will be served on all parties and their counsel. If either party does not agree with the findings of the Master, they can file exceptions to the Master's report within seven days of the report being filed. The issue will then be heard by the Lawrence County Family Court judge presiding over the case.
Lawrence County Child Custody Rules & Procedures
The first step in a Lawrence County child custody case is the filing of a Child Custody Complaint, or a Petition to Modify Child Custody. The Lawrence County child custody complaint, drafted by your Lawrence County child custody lawyer, will include a scheduling Order for the scheduling of a Custody Conciliation Conference.
The Court appointed Custody Conciliation Conference Officer will lead the conference, at which both parties and their Lawrence County child custody lawyers will set down to try to mediate a custody schedule that will work for all of them, and will serve the best interest of the children. The parties will all sit down and try to come to an agreement. If an agreement is reached between the parties at the custody conciliation, then it will be written down by the Custody Conciliation Conference Officer and will be issued by the Court as a final custody Order. A copy of the Order will then be forwarded to both
Our Lawrence County Family Law Lawyers
Our Lawrence County divorce and family law lawyers will guide you through the process of obtaining a Lawrence County Divorce Decree, as well as resolution of any connected matters such as spousal support, alimony pendente lite (APL), alimony, division of marital property through equitable distribution, child support, and child custody.
To learn more about our Lawrence County family law firm, and to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our experienced Lawrence County family lawyers, call us today at 412-281-9906, toll free at 1-855-827-4529 or send us an e-mail. Our Pittsburgh and Southpointe offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and evenings by appointment. Our Cranberry Township offices is open by appointment only.