Philadelphia Divorce Process Lawyer
There are numerous issues you will need to address when dissolving your marriage, so it is understandable that you want to know as much about the Pennsylvania divorce process as possible. Understanding the proceedings enables you to realize your goals and assess what your future will look like once the case concludes. Property division, alimony, and issues related to minor children are key factors in a divorce case, and you have important rights with respect to each of them.
Therefore, it is important to retain legal representation for assistance with a divorce case, even if you and your spouse generally get along. At the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane, our team is ready to protect your interests and support you in achieving your goals. Please contact us to schedule a consultation with a Philadelphia divorce process lawyer. You can also read on for an overview.
Steps in the Divorce Process
Every case is different, but there are certain requirements and common elements that all parties will face. The steps in a Pennsylvania divorce proceeding will typically include:
Pre-Filing Considerations: Under Pennsylvania law, at least one spouse must be a resident of the state for at least 6 months before initiating a divorce case. This is an important point for filing and jurisdictional purposes.
Filing the Divorce Petition: Either spouse can file a petition to initiate divorce proceedings, which must include basic information about the relationship, residency, and grounds for divorce. Pennsylvania allows both fault and no-fault grounds. Upon filing, the petitioner must properly serve the other spouse with divorce papers. The respondent will then have the opportunity to respond to the petition by filing an answer.
Divorce Process: Once initial filings are complete, the parties turn to the main issues in divorce, including:
- Property division;
- Alimony; and,
- Custody, visitation, and support for minor children.
Conclusion and Final Divorce Decree: After the above issues are resolved according to the options described below, the court will enter a final order. This document officially terminates the marriage and establishes the parties’ rights, and it is a binding order.
Options for Resolving Divorce Issues
With respect to property division, spousal support, and issues related to minor children, there are three alternatives available to the parties:
- Pennsylvania law encourages spouses to agree on these issues, and the court will usually approve a marital settlement. However, the judge will carefully review custody and visitation to ensure the arrangement serves the child’s best interests.
- Mediation may be ordered by the court, and the parties can opt to go through the process. This session is an informal proceeding where spouses work out differences with help from a trained mediator. It is not binding, so you can still go to court if dissatisfied with the outcome.
- If disputes remain, the court will hold a contested hearing that is similar to a trial. Parties can present evidence, testimony, and arguments, and the judge will render a decision.
How an Attorney Can Help
The Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane will support you with all divorce options and court proceedings, so you can trust a Pennsylvania divorce process lawyer to:
- Consult with you about objectives;
- Explain options for resolving disputes;
- Evaluate and develop strategies that align with your goals;
- Advise you during settlement negotiations;
- Advocate on your behalf during mediation; and,
- Fight for your rights in a contested hearing.
Trust a Philadelphia Divorce Process Lawyer to Guide You
Our team at the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane is ready to handle these and other tasks to protect your rights, so please contact us today. We can schedule a consultation with a Philadelphia divorce process lawyer who can provide additional details.