Pittsburgh Divorce Lawyer
When enough is enough and you are ready to file for divorce, your spouse may or may not be prepared for war. Working with a qualified Pittsburgh divorce attorney can ensure that you are not taken advantage of during your divorce.
It could not have been easy to make the decision to end your marriage, but when you are finally ready to move forward with a divorce, you will likely want it to go as smoothly and quickly as possible so that you can move forward with your life. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and many divorces become long and drawn out when you are not able to resolve certain marital disputes.
Thankfully, with the assistance of an experienced attorney at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C. by your side, you can breathe a little easier knowing we are prepared to fight for your rights. A Pittsburgh divorce lawyer from our firm will help you through the division of your debts and assets and figure out if either party is entitled to financial support so that your divorce can be finalized in a timely manner.
Your Divorce and Equitable Distribution
Possibly the largest point of contention spouses run into when they are filing for divorce is how their assets and debts are going to be dispersed. This is known as equitable distribution. Pennsylvania is not a fifty-fifty state for equitable distribution, which means all of your property, assets, and debts do not have to be divided right down the middle.
You can attempt to work with your spouse to determine who will retain which property and debts, if possible, so that the courts do not have to make these decisions for you. It is also important to note that certain items can escape the equitable distribution process. Essentially, items considered to be marital property will need to be distributed. Some examples of these assets include:
- Money in your retirement savings plan
- Stocks and bonds
Items that may not be considered marital property should be yours to retain. They might consist of:
- An inheritance left to you prior to the marriage
- A business you own
- Real estate you purchased before your marriage
- Belongings that were not meant for your spouse
An easy way of looking at it is anything that you came into the marriage with, or that was purchased without the goal of furthering the marriage as a whole, should be yours when you choose to divorce from your spouse. This goes for any debts you incurred before or throughout your marriage as well.
Your divorce lawyer will ensure that the assets and debts are distributed reasonably so that you come away with the items that are rightfully yours.
What You Need to Know About Spousal Support
In divorces where one spouse earns more than the other one, the lesser-earning spouse may need some sort of financial support until they can land on their feet. There are a number of different ways this can be resolved. Alimony can be paid temporarily throughout the divorce proceedings, it can be paid for a certain number of years, or it can even be paid permanently, if necessary.
Additionally, there are many contributing factors that determine how much, if any, spousal support will be paid. Factors to consider include both spouses’ income, costs of living, how long you were married, and what both parties’ assets consist of prior to the divorce.
Your Pittsburgh divorce attorney will do everything they can to either help you obtain the financial support you need to maintain your standard of living, or to ensure that your spouse does not take you for all you have in your divorce.
Other Family Law Matters That May Come Up
Apart from the question of how your marital assets will be divided and whether or not alimony will be paid, you may also find that you and your former spouse are not able to agree about the custody and visitation of your children. Perhaps you maintain that you need to have sole custody of the kids, or maybe you are not able to agree on where the children are going to live.
It is important that you try to come to a parenting plan that is in the best interests of your children. If there is no reasonable reason to believe that the children should not spend time with either parent, a joint physical and legal custody arrangement could be best for everyone involved.
This means that the children will spend equal amounts of time at both parents’ homes, and both parents will have a right to make important decisions regarding the children, such as their religious upbringing, where they will go to school, and medical decisions, to name a few.
When you want to make sure that your parental rights are not infringed upon, you need an experienced attorney who is ready to fight for your rights. These details do not need to be decided before your divorce can be finalized, but it can be helpful when you just want your divorce over and done with.
There are many components to a divorce that, if not taken care of, can turn your amicable divorce into a messy one. For this reason, below we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions our clients have had in regards to their divorce. If you have additional questions, you can always reach out to our firm directly to discuss the details of your case.
What happens if we have a prenuptial agreement in place?
Having a prenup in place is actually great for your impending divorce. A well-written prenuptial agreement will have already gone over the equitable distribution process, custody and visitation plans (if you have children), and whether one spouse is going to be paying the other alimony. That is essentially the bare bones of a divorce, and from here your divorce should be finalized rather smoothly.
Can I file for divorce if my spouse is living in another state?
Yes, you can. As long as you meet the residency requirements for filing for divorce in Pennsylvania, it does not matter whether or not your spouse is living here. A divorce decree can still be issued in these cases, but you may find that your spouse needs to meet the residency requirements if there are questions regarding the distribution of marital property or alimony.
From the day you file for divorce to the day that your divorce is finalized, an uncontested divorce where both spouses are able to come to an agreement about the equitable distribution process and alimony can take as little as four months.
However, contested divorces can draw out the divorce and make it more more expensive, so you should do whatever you can to resolve your disputes as soon as possible.
Seek Help from a Pittsburgh Divorce Attorney
Ending a marriage is never easy, but it can be even more difficult when you and your soon-to-be former spouse can not seem to agree on anything. Working through your points of contention is the best way to make sure you divorce is over and done with.
Having a highly trained Pittsburgh divorce lawyer at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C. will increase your chances of having your divorce finalized much more quickly so that you can finally move forward with your life. You can give our office a call at 1-844-VARI-LAW (827-4529) or fill out the online contact form below to schedule your no-obligation case review today.