Pennsylvania Family Law and Divorce
Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C.

Divorce Archives

The Fundamentals of a Divorce in Pennsylvania

Whether you have decided you are now ready to file for divorce or whether your spouse has served you with divorce papers, you probably have a lot of questions. The content of this particular post is based on some of the most common questions we are asked as experienced family law attorneys.

My ex never paid as promised...can I sue? Part II

As discussed in Part I of this blog series, in PA the statute of limitations generally precludes an aggrieved party from filing suit for enforcement of a Marriage Settlement Agreement (MSA) if not commenced within the statutes 4-year limitation period. An exception exists, however, when the contract is a "continuing contract." A contract is "continuing" when 1.) There are no deadlines by which payments have to be made; 2.) No specific start date and/or end date when payments are to stop; and 3.) No specific amount owed is identified.

My ex never paid as promised...can I sue? Part I

Before a divorce can be finalized in PA, the parties must have completed the process of equitable distribution, or the division of marital assets and debts. If the parties can come to an agreement, one way to accomplish this is through a Marriage Settlement Agreement, more commonly referred to as an "MSA."

New Year's Resolution: A New Beginning After Your Pennsylvania Divorce

It's that time of year again when Pennsylvania residents start thinking about New Year's Resolutions and how we can improve ourselves in 2018. The new year is a chance for a fresh start; some of us vow to start getting our recommended 8-hours of sleep each night, some vow to lose those extra pounds packed on over the year, but no matter what, we are vowing to ourselves to be happy. 

Getting Divorced in Pennsylvania, How Does the Court View an Affair?

Whether you've made the difficult choice to proceed with divorce because your spouse had an affair or whether you yourself had an affair, you may be wondering, how do the courts in Pennsylvania view an affair?

Pennsylvania Court Rules that Civil Unions Should be Treated Like Marriages

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania ruled last month that Civil Unions should be treated like divorces in Pennsylvania. The court decided this after reviewing a Philadelphia court's decision in Neyman v. Buckley. In this case, the appellant appealed the decision of the court to dismiss her complaint for divorce seeking dissolution of her Vermont civil union. The Superior court held that "the Vermont civil union creates the functional equivalent of marriage for the purposes of dissolution and that Neyman had the right to proceed with her divorce in Pennsylvania.

Is Divorce your New Year's Resolution?

Were you holidays ruined because of a fight with your spouse or the lack of clarity in a custody schedule for your children? Did you pass on holiday parties to avoid having family and friends see the tension between you and your significant other? Are you ready to start fresh for 2017? Are you tired of fielding questions at the holiday dinner table about why you're never allowed to spend time with your family? Did you notice a present on the joint credit card statement that didn't end up under the tree this year? If any of this is true about you, it might be time to consider speaking to an attorney about a divorce or other family law proceeding. In a way, we suggest making it your New Year's resolution to give yourself a fresh start and a fresh outlook on life in 2017.

The Change to Waiting Period for No-Fault Divorces Passes the State House

A few months ago, we posted about the proposed change to the waiting period for no-fault divorces in Pennsylvania. Specifically, the state legislature was debating whether to shorten the waiting period for contested no-fault divorces in Pennsylvania from two years to one year. Recently, a bill reflecting this change in the law passed the Pennsylvania State House. This law was passed as House Bill 380 and signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on October 4, 2016. This law will go into effect in sixty days (December 4, 2016).

Claiming your rights in divorce

There are a number of stages in the formal divorce process in Pennsylvania. First is the filing of the divorce complaint, then there is a mandatory waiting period of at least 90 days during which a divorce may not be finalized, and at some time after that, a divorce will be finalized with the entry of a divorce decree. A divorce decree, generally speaking, extinguishes all of the rights that you had because of the marriage. Of the rights that a decree extinguishes is the right to make a request for alimony and division of the marital assets.

Divorcing Couples in Pennsylvania Battle Over Embryos

With the advent of reproductive technology, divorcing couples in Pennsylvania and around the country are not only compelled to grapple with the question of who should have custody of their living children, but also what to do with their prospective children. The Missouri court of appeals is grappling with just that question as they hear arguments between a husband and wife over the fate of two frozen embryos created via In Vitro Fertilization. This dispute is between a former husband and wife over whether the woman should be permitted to have these embryos implanted and carry them to term.