Understanding Divorce Laws in Philadelphia
Going through a divorce can be an emotionally challenging experience. Regardless of the circumstances, it's crucial to have an experienced Philadelphia divorce attorney to guide you through the process. The team at van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin can provide professional legal advice and support for your divorce.
Grounds for Divorce
In Pennsylvania, divorces can either be fault-based or no-fault. For a fault-based divorce, the filing party must prove the grounds for divorce as outlined in the Pennsylvania statutory law, which may include adultery, criminal conviction leading to imprisonment, bigamy, and willful desertion. For a no-fault divorce, the parties must have lived separately for at least a year, and the filing party must assert that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Key Issues in a Philadelphia Divorce Case
Numerous legal issues may arise in a divorce case, including filing for divorce, division of marital property, complex property classification, high asset divorce issues, alimony, child custody, child support, and modifications to existing divorce orders.
Division of Marital Property
Pennsylvania follows an equitable distribution approach in dividing marital property. All property owned by the parties is classified as marital or nonmarital (separate) property. Marital property, including both assets and debts, will be divided equitably between the spouses. Separate property typically includes property acquired by either spouse before the marriage, gifts or inheritance received during the marriage, and property purchased during the marriage with separate property.
Alimony and Spousal Support
In Pennsylvania, spousal support is financial support that one spouse can seek after separation but before filing for divorce. Courts use guidelines to determine the appropriate spousal maintenance award. Alimony pendente lite is temporary spousal support awarded during the divorce process, while alimony is spousal support paid after the divorce is finalized.
Child Custody and Support Matters
If minor children are involved, divorce proceedings will necessitate child custody and child support determinations. Legal custody pertains to making significant decisions about the child's upbringing, while physical custody refers to the amount of time each parent spends with the child. Both types of custody can be granted solely to one parent or shared between both.
Child support is calculated using an "income shares" model, combining both parents' incomes to determine the total child support obligation. The court then determines each parent's percentage of that obligation based on various factors.
Engage an Experienced Philadelphia Divorce Attorney
Whether you need assistance with property division, child custody issues, or have general queries about the divorce process in Philadelphia, our experienced attorneys are here to help. We strive to protect your rights and ensure your voice is heard throughout the process. Call us today at 215-458-2845.