Complex by nature, dissolution of marriage involves several areas of family law, such as divorce, annulment, separation, alimony, child custody, child and spousal support and more. Learn more about filing for divorce by consulting the following frequently asked questions.
What Is Considered Grounds For Divorce?
In Pennsylvania, there are two types of divorce: fault and no-fault. Grounds for at-fault divorces include, but are not limited to: adultery, abandonment for at least one year, extreme cruelty, bigamy and felony convictions. No-fault divorces happen when both parties mutually consent to having irreconcilable differences.
What Are The Residency Requirements And Waiting Periods For Filing For Divorce?
At least one spouse must reside in the state of Pennsylvania for six months or more prior to filing for divorce. If both spouses consent to a no-fault divorce, there’s a 90-day waiting period before the divorce can be granted. If only one spouse is seeking divorce for an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage, he or she must live apart for a one-year period before filing an affidavit. For fault-based divorces, there is no waiting period.
What Is A Marital Settlement Agreement?
A marital settlement agreement can be filed before or with the final judgment in a divorce case, but is not required. It typically covers property distribution, alimony, child custody and support and other relevant issues concerning the divorce. This type of agreement can help expedite the divorce process.
How Is Alimony Determined?
Spousal support, alimony pendente lite (APL) or alimony if a discretionary issue determined by a court. In Pennsylvania, there are no set guidelines regarding alimony. The court will consider several factors, including, but not limited to:
- Each spouse’s income, including retirement, medical and insurance
- Age and health of the spouses
- Length of marriage
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Assets and debts
- Marital misconduct
When Should I Contact A Divorce Lawyer?
No matter if you’re filing for a fault-based or no-fault divorce, it’s best to seek legal representation as soon as possible to help you navigate the complex divorce laws in Pennsylvania. If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to call the Law Offices of Matthew Kelly Associates at 570-714-1205. Your first consultation is always free.