Custody

Once you separate, you should strive for a custody arrangement spelled out in a court order. If your spouse fails to follow the custody arrangement, you have recourse. The courts will enforce it. Both parents are entitled to care for the children (although the court will often grant custody of infants to the mother, since infants are often quite dependent on the mother). The court prefers shared custody, however, so that children have both parents in their lives.

Parents can agree on about any custody arrangement. An attorney can assist parties with reaching a suitable arrangement, reduce it writing, and convert it into a court order. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, court involvement may be necessary. Custody proceedings occur in a sequence of stages. Parents who resort to court proceedings often settle the custody matter in the preliminary stages. If your spouse is threatening to move out of the Commonwealth with the children, you may want to get a court order immediately to prevent it.

_______________________________
Written by Attorney Andrew Glasgow
Google+

Support

Support can be divided into child and spousal. As soon as parents separate, the parent primarily caring for the children frequently pursues child support from the other parent. (Both parents are required to pay child support by law, but you do not actually pay child support to yourself.) The figure is based largely on the parent’s income. Usually, the expenses of the parent paying, such as credit card bills, are not a large factor. Support guidelines help establish the figure.  However, they are only that–guidelines: the facts of each case can increase or decrease the figure. Child support is often handled at a hearing; it is worth hiring an attorney to represent you at this hearing, as deviations from the guideline amount can be significant.

When parents separate, the one with the lower income often collects spousal support from the other. This obligation may end once a divorce decree and property division are acquired. Yet the obligation may continue afterwards in some cases, becoming alimony. The purpose of spousal support/alimony is to help the lower-paid spouse get by as the divorce occurs and to make a transition to being financially independent. This monthly payment can be higher than a mortgage, so it is worthwhile hiring an attorney. The recipient will want to get what he or she is entitled to; the person paying will only want to pay what is required.

_______________________________
Written by Attorney Andrew Glasgow
Google+

Divorce

In Pennsylvania, there are two kinds of divorce: fault-based and no-fault. Fault-based divorces require proving a ground for it, such as your spouse committed adultery or gone insane. These grounds are limited in number. It has become popular to pursue the no-fault divorce rather than the fault-based, because a trial is not required with the no-fault version.

The two forms of no-fault divorce are 3301(c) and 3301(d). The first kind can be finalized in roughly ninety days, as long as your spouse consents. The latter kind, 3301(d), can be finalized in a little less than ninety days. You do not need your spouse’s consent, but you must have lived separate and apart for at least two years. Hence, a Pennsylvanian frequently determines whether his or her spouse will consent to a divorce. If not, that person frequently lives separately, carrying on with his or her own life for two years, after which he or she finalizes the divorce with the 3301(d) version.

Note that this procedure results in acquiring a divorce decree only. Support, custody, and property division are separate issues, requiring separate legal procedures.

_______________________________
Written by Attorney Andrew Glasgow
Google+