Bucks County Family Law

Divorce

Divorce

Many marriages face struggles. Sometimes, spouses are unable to resolve their differences. The problems are too great to overcome, and the result is a divorce. If you are in a situation like this, seeking counsel to represent you in your divorce is paramount.

As a divorce attorney specialized in Pennsylvania family law, Lauren D’Alessandro understands the various aspects of divorce and the negotiating tactics necessary to petition for or defend against a divorce complaint. Lauren has negotiated numerous family law orders and will use that experience to assist you. Contact her to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards obtaining concluding your divorce.

No-Fault Grounds for Divorce in Pennsylvania

No-fault based divorces are by far the most common type of divorce in Pennsylvania. These divorces save time, save money, reduce stress, reduce acrimony, and still allow for custody claims, support claims, and all the other remedies available to fault based divorces. Obtaining a no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania is simple: as long as the spouses are separate and apart for a specified period of time, a judge can grant the divorce.

How Long Do You Have to Live Separate and Apart to Get a No-Fault Divorce?

The period of time during which you have to be separate and apart changes depending on whether both parties agree to the divorce. Where both spouses agree to the divorce, as long as they have lived separate and apart for ninety days a judge can grant the divorce. However, if only one spouse requests a divorce and the other does not, then they must live separate and apart for one year. Both no-fault grounds have the same remedies available; the only difference is the period of time required to obtain the divorce.

You Can Live Separate and Apart in the Same House

When living separate and apart, the parties are not required to live in different locations. Rather, they may live in the same household provided there are enough indicia they intend to be separate. These indications may include, but are not limited to, cessation of sexual activity, separation of financial matters, and representation to the community they have separated. A Pennsylvania divorce attorney can advise you how to best ensure you will be considered as living separate and apart for purposes of obtaining a no-fault divorce.

Fault Grounds for Divorce in Pennsylvania

Fault based divorces are significantly less common. They are much more difficult to obtain, more expensive, more time consuming, and often result in significant stress and acrimony. Fault based divorces also rarely if ever provide additional benefits over a no-fault based divorce. For these reasons, divorce complaints usually involve no-fault grounds.

Should a party request a fault based divorce in Pennsylvania, there are six fault based reasons available to them. They are the following:

  1. Desertion for a period of one or more years
  2. Adultery
  3. Cruel and barbarous treatment
  4. Bigamy
  5. Incarceration to a sentence of two years or more
  6. Indignities

There are defenses to these claims. For example, if the plaintiff (the spouse requesting the divorce) consented to the desertion or the adultery, a defendant (the other spouse) can use that consent to defeat the claim. A divorce attorney can best advise you about fault based grounds and defenses.

Marital Settlement Agreements

Divorces often contain multiple aspects to them. Whether that involves custody, real estate, financial assets, or some other facet of a divorce, coming to an agreement can save a substantial amount of time and money. In Pennsylvania, these agreements are called marital settlement agreements.

Negotiating an agreement without an attorney is risky. There are rights you have that you may not know about and mistakenly waive away. Further, using ineffective negotiating techniques can significantly affect your bargaining position. Finally, an improperly drafted agreement can unintentionally reduce your rights. Hiring counsel to represent you in these negotiations is vital.

Hiring an Attorney Matters

Regardless of the area of family law you are litigating, hiring an attorney experienced and specialized in family law is crucial. Attorney Lauren D’Alessandro represents clients in Bucks County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. Her office is located in Newtown and she invites you to contact her to schedule a consultation. You can contact her here. She looks forward to hearing from you!

Lauren D’Alessandro

Lauren Anthony D'Alessandro's Profile Image
Lauren is located in Newtown, Pennsylvania and provides legal services for Bucks County, Philadelphia County, and Montgomery County. She specializes in family law and provides services for a whole range of family law matters. Whether you are seeking…

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