Claiming your rights in divorce

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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.

After a divorce complaint is filed, the defendant (the party who did not file) can request that the court divide the marital assets and/or make an award of alimony, if these have not already been requested by the plaintiff when the complaint was filed. If a divorce proceeds through the process without these claims being raised and a divorce decree is entered, then the parties will forever lose the right to request division of marital assets or alimony.

During a divorce, it is important to ensure that all of the claims that you want to make are fully resolved before a divorce decree is entered. There are very limited circumstances under which a divorce decree can be undone, and those circumstances do not apply in the vast majority of cases.

If you need help with your Pennsylvania divorce, please review our website and contact us to schedule a consultation today!

By: John M. Schaffranek, Esq.