If you have decided to dissolve your marriage, Noel & Bonebrake can help take much of the stress out of the process. Our divorce attorneys are experienced, capable and highly responsive to your concerns. With candid counsel, we help you focus on realistic, attainable goals, while we work diligently to protect your personal and financial interests. We are accessible to you throughout the process, so you can have confidence in our efforts on your behalf.
To file for divorce, you or your spouse must meet the residency requirement by having lived in the commonwealth for at least six months. The petitioner initiates the process by filing a Complaint for Divorce in the court of the county where either spouse resides, or a county where both have agreed in writing to file.
The petitioner can set the tone for the divorce by choosing to file no-fault or to allege grounds for the divorce. No-fault divorces are generally less adversarial, because the petitioner is not impugning the conduct of the other spouse, but is simply asserting the marital relationship is “irretrievably broken.” However, there is a waiting period for a no-fault divorce, depending on specific grounds, as follows:
Marital misconduct which the law considers to be fault grounds for divorce includes:
In many cases, alleging grounds allows the divorce to move forward more quickly. Marital misconduct is also a factor the court uses to determine an award of alimony. However, the petitioner who alleges grounds must have hard evidence to support the allegation.
Before the court can issue a divorce decree, the parties must resolve their ancillary issues — alimony, child custody, child support, and division of property — through a negotiated settlement or by litigating the issues in court.
It’s always best to discuss your plans for divorce with an experienced family law attorney before hastily filing. An attorney can provide great assistance by drafting your complaint. But even more importantly, your attorney can advise you on the processes for divorce that might be best for you, such as:
There is no usual amount of time for a divorce in Pennsylvania. Many factors, such as the parties’ ability to work cooperatively, the complexity of the marital estate, the fitness of each party as parents, and strong opinions about how your children should be raised, are factors that can influence the length of the process. Our attorneys are mindful of the cost to you — financially and emotionally — when a divorce drags on. We do everything possible to move the process forward without sacrificing your rights.
The success of a divorce rests on how well you resolve the four critical issues. But before the process even starts, you must decide on reasonable goals for each. Unreasonable demands only stall the process and in many instances alienate the judge. Drawing on our wealth of experience, we provide a candid assessment of your circumstances and fully explain how a judge is likely to apply the law to your situation. Once you identify realistic goals for the divorce process, we can suggest various strategies for achieving those goals.
Noel & Bonebrake provides quality divorce representation for clients in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. To learn how our experienced divorce lawyers can help protect your future, call us today at 215-600-3189 or contact our Media office online to schedule a free consultation.