Looking for expert Pennsylvania family law help doesn’t need to be difficult in this technologically modern age we live in. Pennsylvania residents may find themselves in need of family law advice due to divorce, child custody, child support, or any other Pennsylvania family law issue. For example, it can be difficult for a divorcing couple to reach a mutually agreeable settlement on their own, but an expert family lawyer can help. An experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney uses negotiation, collaborative law, mediation, and when necessary, litigation to preserve their clients’ interests and rights.
Navigating property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support issues requires flexibility and creative thinking. Experienced family law attorneys in Pennsylvania use these skills to develop solutions to various domestic relations matters. They also help clients with related issues, including drafting prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and assisting with legal separations and annulments. In fact, our team of Pennsylvania family law professionals are specially trained to work with every type of case – and they can be reached for free by giving us a call any time!
Pennsylvania Divorce Help and Advice
Pennsylvania family law statutes recognize both no-fault and fault grounds for filing divorce. No-fault grounds involve an irretrievable marriage breakdown, while adultery, bigamy, cruelty, and desertion are examples of fault grounds. Alternatively, a couple may consent to divorce mutually due to an irretrievably broken marriage and receive a divorce judgment from the court after a 90-day waiting period. The State of Pennsylvania requires residency of one spouse for at least six months before filing for divorce in any county either party currently resides.
Completing documents and gathering supporting evidence required for a divorce case can be complex, confusing, and stressful. Add to that the intricacies involved in dividing marital assets equitably (“equitable distribution” does NOT necessarily mean “equal”, it means “fair”) between the spouses and the issue of alimony and there are several reasons to hire a Pennsylvania divorce attorney. The goal is to arrive at a fair division of the married couple’s property, a determination based on the length of the marriage, standard of living during the union, as well as resources and needs of each party. This is especially difficult to figure out when real estate or pensions/retirement accounts are involved – the main reason a legal professional is almost certainly a necessity.
Property division can be particularly tricky because even one spouse citing a fault ground as the reason for divorce does not affect asset distribution. This makes it easy for one party to be taken advantage of during the process. In addition, property obtained during marriage is considered marital property regardless of the wording on any relevant title. For example: if a married couple purchases a home only in the husbands name and the husband only pays the mortgage payments himself with no contribution from the wife, the real estate is still 50% owned by the wife.
In Pennsylvania, each divorcing spouse is entitled to request alimony from the other. The court bases its decision on the income, earning ability, liabilities, assets, and mental, physical, and emotional state of each spouse. If one spouse did not work but supported the educational pursuits of the other, the court is more likely to award alimony to that individual than it would if the spouses earned equal wages.
Pennsylvania Child Custody Help
Divorcing parents may try unsuccessfully to agree on post-divorce parenting responsibilities. They then ask the court to make the custody decisions. Pennsylvania Child custody dispute resolution must follow very specific state regulations. In Pennsylvania and many other states, courts are required to primarily consider the best interests of the child. This is the standard that governs all Pennsylvania child custody cases.
Many factors are considered to make a determination of the best interests of a child in a Pennsylvania custody case. These include, but are not limited to, parenting skills, nurturing ability, parental cooperation, need for stability in the minor child’s life, and relationships with other family members. Proximity of residence between the parents and parental relationships carry heavy weight. Therefore, a parent petitioning for custody should think carefully before moving far away or instigating an altercation with the other parent – neither of these look good in the judges eyes.
Pennsylvania family law attorneys help their clients by preparing comprehensive and detailed petitions for child custody along with other dispositive motions such as petitions for exclusive possession or petitions’ for rule to show cause (for denial of court ordered visitation). Anyone can dig into the details, asking whether the other spouse has a history of physical or substance abuse and presenting same to the court. However, the benefit of having an attorney on your side is that they also investigate the ability of the other parent to be a good caregiver and prepare reports for the court in a way that a non-lawyer cannot do. A parent who spends little time with children due to work is not likely to receive custody in many instances, so if it’s not necessary to work 80-hours a week just to make ends meet, don’t do so throughout your custody battle or leading up to your custody fight.
While mothers may once have been automatic winners in custody cases, that is no longer true. Pennsylvania family law prohibits a court from basing a custody decision on parental gender. Therefore, fathers stand just as much chance of receiving physical and legal custody as mothers do. A good father’s rights attorney can help fathers win the custody rights they desire.
Pennsylvania Child Support Help
Regardless of which parent receives primary physical custody, child support will enter the discussion both parents have with the court. The purpose of child support is to assist in covering childcare costs incurred by the custodial parent. Pennsylvania law is unique because it allows any caregiver, even a non-biological parent who does not have a child custody order, to petition for child support.
State child support guidelines determine the payment amount. The court generally follows the fee schedule outlined in these statutory guidelines, which is based on the income of the parents and number of children. However, courts do have flexibility to make adjustments based on age of the child, standard of living, unusual needs, and more. In addition, a court may require one or both parents to pay for health insurance for a child. Potential for varied outcomes makes it important to have legal guidance when requesting child support. Pennsylvania child support lawyers save their clients’ money by either getting the custodial parent an increase or by obtaining a decrease for the noncustodial parent.
Once the court issues a child support order, the paying parent (or obligor) is responsible until the child support order terminates, which usually occurs when the child turns 18 or graduates high-school, whichever comes last. Failure to abide by the Pennsylvania child support order could be punishable by fines or, in some instances, jail time. However, a child support order may be modified for reasons including relocation or job loss. A Pennsylvania family law attorney is best equipped to prepare and present a request for modification in these types of instances.
Pennsylvania Father’s Rights Help
Fathers going through divorce or a paternity case involving children born out of wedlock, should not have to sacrifice their relationships with their children. They have a right to continue their influential roles by requesting joint custody or some level of visitation. In Pennsylvania, fathers and mothers have equal rights to child custody. Unfortunately, without a strong case, a father may walk away from a custody hearing with less than he deserves. Father’s rights have been gaining traction in all 50-states and Pennsylvania is becoming a leader in father’s rights to custody and visitation.
A family law attorney licensed to practice in Pennsylvania can help fathers win the level of custody they deserve. It takes a specialized attorney or legal professional to fight for the rights of fathers including the right to care for children and receive relevant compensation in the form of child support. Fathers stand the best chance of being heard and getting what they want when they have an expert speaking for them.
Fathers who were slighted in previous child custody and support decisions need not settle for these outcomes. A Pennsylvania family law attorney can petition for court revision of a child support or child custody order. A more favorable outcome will allow a father to have a happy relationship with his children and support them in an affordable manner.
What’s the Next Step?
Get the Pennsylvania family law help and advice that you deserve! The many issues that can be presented dealing with family law cases are too difficult to handle on your own. The information is sensitive and you cannot take a chance when dealing with your rights. We can connect you to an expert professional who can give you the Pennsylvania family law advice you deserve right away. Don’t waste valuable time – get the help you deserve right now and get a free consultation!