Montgomery County Divorce Lawyer
Ending a marriage can be a confusing and painful process, involving many difficult decisions. As your Montgomery County divorce lawyer, we will guide you through the process with legal expertise as well as compassion. From the initial filing to the final divorce decree, our divorce lawyers are responsive, understanding, and professional. We will help ease the anxiety of the divorce process by swiftly and thoroughly answering your questions and concerns, as well as outlining the options to meet your objectives. We also provide legal expertise and guidance in the following related divorce matters:
- Child Custody, Visitation, and Support
- Alternative Dispute Resolution, including mediation and arbitration
- Spousal Support and division of marital property and assets
In Pennsylvania,a dissolution of a marriage can be accomplished one of three ways:
1) Annulment: A marriage can be legally annulled by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for one of the following reasons, which must be proven:
- You were married under false pretenses
- At the time of the marriage, you could not give consent
- The marriage was illegal in Pennsylvania
For the annulment of a marriage, consent is not required by the other spouse, nor is there any type of waiting period. A church annulment may be important for you or your spouse personally, but is not legally recognized.
2) No-Fault Divorce: The majority of divorces in Pennsylvania are categorized as no-fault divorces. In a no-fault divorce, there is no reason needed for the divorce. It is simply when a marriage becomes irretrievably broken. A no-fault divorce can happen in one of two ways:
- Both parties consent to the divorce, signing an affidavit agreeing to end the marriage. Pennsylvania then requires a 90 day “cooling off” period prior to granting the request.
- A unilateral divorce can be granted if the couple has been separated for more than two years, regardless of whether or not both parties consent to the divorce. The process can be happen quickly in this situation, as soon as the proper paperwork is completed and filed.
3) Fault-Based Divorce: In a fault-based divorce, both spouses do not consent to the divorce and the two-year separation period is not applicable. In this situation, one spouse must prove that the other spouse is at fault for failure of the marriage. Courts in Pennsylvania recognize seven legal grounds for a fault-based divorce: Adultery, Bigamy, Cruel or Barbarous Treatment, Desertion, Imprisonment, Indignities (poor treatment), and Insanity. While a fault-based divorce is sometimes necessary, fault grounds can be costly and difficult to prove in court. Also, the process of submitting the proof to the court can be emotionally wrenching for all parties involved, including children.
Seeking a no-fault divorce can save the time and cost associated with proving one party’s wrongdoing. However, a no-fault divorce does not mean a settlement will be easy and simple. Most divorces involve some contested issues which must be resolved before a divorce is granted. Litigation is necessary when amicable dissolution of the marriage cannot be achieved. As experienced Montgomery County divorce lawyers, we aggressively support our clients during the litigation process, with diligent preparation to secure documentation needed by the court.
You may have questions as you begin your entry into the divorce process. Our team of experts can help you answer questions that may apply to your divorce:
- How will my children be impacted by the divorce? How is custody decided?
- How much will the divorce cost? How will I pay my bills during the divorce?
- Who will get the home, our savings, and other assets?
- How long will the divorce take?
- Will I receive or have to pay spousal support or alimony? How much?
- Our divorce is amicable – do I still need a divorce lawyer?
During a divorce, particularly one that involves litigation, an experienced and compassionate legal team is essential…not only to achieve the objectives of your divorce, but also to provide support and guidance along the way. Contact our experienced Montgomery County divorce lawyers today so we can begin the process together.