Understanding Divorce Law in Pennsylvania

Important Aspects of Your Divorce

Pennsylvania divorce Law is comprised of at least four distinct components.

  1. Change in your marital status from “married” to “single.”  For many years, Pennsylvania has been considered a “no fault divorce” state.  You are entitled to be divorced, following a required waiting period, with or without the consent or your spouse.  It is not necessary to prove fault to change your marital status.  But changing your marital status has important consequences, including:
  • Changes in your ownership of assets, and your responsibility for you debts;
  • Insurance consequences. including the critical matter of coverage under a spouse’s health insurance plan;
  1. Tax ramifications
  2. Changes in your inheritance rights
  3. Changes in your entitlement to social security and other government benefits

Our law firm will assist you in navigating all of these aspects of divorce law to make sure your rights and entitlements are protected.

Division of Assets and Debt in between you and your spouse is a significant economic component of your divorce.  The process of “equitable distribution” determines a “fair split” of all of the various assets and liabilities accumulated during your marriage.  Your net marital estate is commonly divided according to several relevant factors, about which the lawyers of Jaffe & Kecskemethy, P.C. can carefully educate you. 

Upon gathering the evidence necessary to evaluate the marital estate, our attorneys can help you formulate a negotiating posture intended to bring about a generous yet fair distribution of property and debt, and a fast, amicable divorce.  However, if no agreement with your spouse can be reached, and litigation is necessary, our firm has the most trial experience in Butler County relative to Family Court matters, including interim and final hearings before a Judge or divorce Master.

In addition to equitable distribution, your Pennsylvania divorce may include consideration of spousal support and alimony.  Spousal support (or alimony pendente lite, prior to finalizing your divorce) may be available to you if you are a dependent spouse, or if the spouse from whom you are divorcing has a substantial income advantage in his or her ability to conduct the divorce case itself. 

Alimony, which may apply after a final decree in divorce, is an economic award to a dependent spouse when necessary to bring about a fair economic settlement if the division of assets and debts cannot complete the picture for a divorcing couple.  Alimony may be appropriate in your case, after consideration of multiple factors relevant to a fair settlement or final order, with which our firm is intimately familiar.

Divorce in Pennsylvania may also incorporate considerations of safety and protection.  In the event that you are involved in an abusive relationship, or are subjected to threats or harassment, Pennsylvania law provides for additional relief either through your divorce case itself, or through the Protection from Abuse act, which can provide privacy, safety and peace of mind.  The attorneys of Jaffe & Kecskemethy, P.C. will help you formulate a plan to provide for your safety and security.

Divorce Involving Children

Our attorneys intimately understand the differences between the divorce of a couple with no children, and the unique needs of families with children going through separation and divorce.  We represent parents litigating child custody and child support matters every week, and will provide you with the most careful guidance necessary to navigate these most difficult cases.

Obviously, it is important to fashion a divorce settlement that prioritizes child custody and support arrangements that serve the best interest of your children, both personally and financially, without increasing animosity between you are your spouse. Our lawyers understand that it is most often preferable to stay out of court altogether in cases involving children.  The  child custody arrangement arising from your divorce will be approached with a view toward negotiated settlement whenever possible.  Support will be addressed with the same interest in formulating agreements, while still protecting your economic needs.

If your divorce must be heard in court, our lawyers have the courtroom and trial experience necessary to bring about the best possible result, while at all times keeping the needs of your children uppermost in our considerations.

Also See:

Pennsylvania Child Custody Law

Pennsylvania Child Support Law