Answers To Your Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce
We know if you have questions if considering a major life change such as ending your marriage. At Kelly, Parker & Cohen, LLP, we have answers. To get answers to your questions about how the law applies to your particular case, call our Harrisburg office for a free consultation: 717-971-1974 or send us an email to get started.
What is a no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania?
In a no-fault divorce, the parties do not have to assign blame for the dissolution of their marriage. In Pennsylvania, there are two types of no-fault divorce. The most common type is a mutual consent divorce, where both spouses consent to the divorce and agree that their marriage is irretrievably broken. Mutual consent divorce requires a 90-day waiting period from the time that the divorce complaint is filed and served. The second type of no-fault divorce may be obtained if the couple has been separated for one year and their marriage is irretrievably broken. A couple may be considered separated even while residing in the same house. This type of divorce may be granted even if one spouse does not wish to divorce.
Does Pennsylvania have “fault” divorces?
Yes. Grounds for a fault divorce in Pennsylvania include adultery, bigamy, abandonment without cause for at least one year, cruelty (including domestic violence), the conviction of a crime and imprisonment for two or more years, and conduct rendering the marriage intolerable.
How long does it take to get divorced in Pennsylvania?
While circumstances can vary, generally you can obtain a no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania in a matter of a few months. But you first must wait out a mandatory 90-day “cooling off” period if the divorce is by mutual consent or must live separate from your spouse for one year before the divorce can proceed. Generally, divorces based on fault require more time, as they are more contentious, and you will need to prove with evidence, in court, that your spouse is at fault.
How is marital property divided in a Pennsylvania divorce?
Marital property (also called marital assets) is the property acquired during the time of your marriage. Common examples include your home, furniture, cars, businesses, investments, and retirement accounts. You may be able to reach a settlement agreement with your spouse setting forth how this property will be divided. If you are unable to do so, Pennsylvania law provides for equitable distribution of marital property. This means that the divorce court will divide your marital property in a manner that it deems fair. Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal distribution.
What type of financial support may I receive in a divorce?
In Pennsylvania, there are three types of financial support that you may receive during and after a divorce. Spousal support may be provided after a legal separation but before your divorce action is filed. Alimony pendente lite is temporary alimony that may be awarded during your divorce action, but before the divorce is finalized. Alimony may be awarded after your divorce is finalized. You may also receive child support to help cover the expenses of raising your children. The family law attorneys at Kelly, Parker & Cohen, LLP help secure all financial support to which you and your children are legally entitled.
Do I have to pay child support or alimony if I lose my job?
Even when you lose your job, you are still legally obligated to continue making your child support and alimony payments. However, a judge may reduce your payment amount, since your financial circumstances have changed. If you are experiencing financial hardship due to a job loss or any other reason, Kelly, Parker & Cohen, LLP can help you petition the family court for a reduction in your child support or alimony obligations.