How Do I Prepare For Divorce?
Divorce is a decision that comes with both a financial and emotional impact. It is never an easy decision to make. The better prepared you are for the realities that come with the decision to file for divorce will make the process less intimidating and costly. Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney should be your first step.
The process starts much like any other “lawsuit” – someone files a complaint at the local
courthouse. The divorce complaint sets forth the reasons for the divorce as well as claims for alimony, distribution of assets and even custody. It is typical that in Pennsylvania a spouse will seek either a consent no-fault divorce or a unilateral no-fault divorce if the parties have been separated for over 1 year. After listening to your facts and circumstances, an attorney will explain which option may best apply to your facts.
Pending the divorce being finalized, the financially dependent spouse may seek spousal support or temporary alimony (“APL”). The amount paid to the other spouse is determined by the parties’ monthly net income and is calculated at the Domestic Relations Office at a support conference. The support order may further include the obligation to continue to provide health insurance for the other spouse as well as any children. This obligation (again) may continue throughout the divorce proceedings. A temporary support order often times results in one spouse wanting to resolve the divorce quickly, while the other spouse is happy collecting support. Paying support to your financially dependent spouse for months while your divorce is pending can be a tough pill to swallow. You want to hire someone that can navigate you through that process quickly.
Eventually the parties will also discuss the splitting of marital assets and debt. A marital asset/debt is anything that is acquired or incurred during the divorce – no matter who paid for it or who legally “owns” it. For example a car purchased by wife and titled in her name is a marital asset IF purchased during the marriage. In addition, retirement accounts and personal property will be divided fairly through what is called “equitable distribution”. This is a legal term that doesn’t mean 50/50 or equally – it means “fairly”.
The parties resolve their financial issues either by agreement or litigation. Working on a resolution that is fair is always the goal. Avoiding lengthy and expensive litigation is best; however, there are certain cases where litigation is simply unavoidable.
Our firm is prepared to aggressively negotiate a fair resolution in any divorce action. We have negotiated well over a million dollars in divorce assets.
We will work tirelessly to meet the goals you have identified as important to you. When litigation is necessary, we have the experience and knowledge necessary to win.
Winning in the courtroom matters.
Contact our office today for a consultation.