Filing for Divorce in PA
Choosing to end your marriage is always a difficult decision. When you live in Pennsylvania, there are certain laws you need to be aware of that will help you prepare for your impending divorce, including information regarding which type of divorce you’ll seek, how your property and assets will be divided, and whether or not either party will be paying or receiving spousal support.
A highly trained PA divorce lawyer can help you understand any questions you might have and ensure that you aren’t taken advantage of by your soon-to-be former spouse. Continue reading to learn more about the components of a divorce in PA and how they might impact your case.
Types of Divorce
In Pennsylvania, you can either file for a fault divorce or a no-fault divorce. You might choose to pursue a fault divorce if your spouse has wronged you in some way, whether that be through deserting the marriage, adultery, or any other wrong that has made being married to your spouse simply intolerable.
However, many spouses prefer to file for a no-fault divorce, as they are much less expensive and time consuming. A no-fault divorce can be pursued when neither spouse admits to wronging the other; the marriage is simply considered irreconcilable. No-fault divorces can be completed in as soon as ninety days after being separated for a period of one year.
Though there is no such thing as a legal separation in PA, you can go ahead and start living your lives separately as soon as you’ve decided divorce is inevitable so that your divorce can be expedited once the year has passed. If you aren’t sure which type of divorce would be best for you, speak with a PA divorce lawyer who can advise you accordingly.
Equitable Distribution in Pennsylvania
More commonly referred to as the division of your property and assets, equitable distribution is an important aspect of your divorce. It will entail you and your former spouse going over each of your assets, debts, and pieces of property and determining who will get which items.
Some people are able to get through this process easily, while others struggle when dividing their belongings. A pre- or postnuptial agreement can help this division run much more smoothly, as these details should have been laid out in your pre- or postnup.
If you didn’t have a pre- or postnuptial agreement and your spouse has been making equitable distribution a hassle, you can try to work it out in mediation or leave it up to the courts to divide your belongings.
The courts will consider the income and expenses of both spouses, your standard of living as a couple, tax obligations, your marital and non-marital assets, and a number of other factors in the equitable distribution process.
Forms of Spousal Support
In cases where one spouse makes more money than the other, the lesser-earning spouse may request spousal support.
There are a few different types of spousal support offered in Pennsylvania, including financial support paid prior to the filing of the PA divorce complaint, known as spousal support; support throughout the divorce proceedings, known as alimony pendente lite (APL); and alimony, which is awarded once the divorce has been finalized.
Neither spouse is necessarily entitled to spousal support, in any form. Your divorce attorney will be able to review your case to determine if you should expect to pay or receive financial support from your former spouse.
Get Help from a PA Divorce Lawyer
When you’re preparing to file for divorce, there are many components you’ll need to work through with your spouse in order for your divorce to be finalized in a timely manner.
Reach out to an experienced PA divorce lawyer at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C. for assistance in resolving these issues. You can schedule your initial case review today by calling our office at 1-844-VARI-LAW (827-4529) or by filling out the quick contact form we’ve included below.