Abington Divorce Lawyer
Committing yourself to someone is one of the most significant decisions you could make in your life. Unfortunately, marriages do not always go the way we hope they will, and we have to accept that the relationship we have committed ourselves to is not going to work. Some people realize this and sit with that knowledge for so long that divorce is no surprise to them. However, for others, being confronted with separation may catch them off guard.
No matter which camp you belong to, you are entitled to certain rights when going through a divorce. Divorces can be messy without proper legal representation, and people can get taken advantage of or miss out on things they are entitled to. It is reasonable to be perplexed, worried, or frustrated while dealing with a legal matter affecting your family and future. Because the law is complex, it is critical to get competent legal advice.
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Why Should I Hire an Abington Divorce Attorney?
While no divorce is enjoyable, having a good lawyer in your corner can make divorce more tolerable. Divorce can be messy and stressful for everyone involved. They can also take a long time to finalize. Good legal representation can work to your advantage while helping things move smoothly.
There are numerous situations in which retaining legal counsel would be invaluable, such as:
- Your family has a history of domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse, or sexual assault.
- There is a power imbalance between you and your spouse.
- A fair negotiation between you and your spouse seems impossible.
- Your spouse has already hired legal representation.
- Your spouse is hiding assets, mistreating property, or dissipating marital funds.
- Your spouse is threatening you physically if you seek a divorce.
- You are unable to communicate with your spouse on your own.
Divorce is one of those situations where hiring a divorce attorney in Abington is likely the best way to protect your rights. Even if you think you can defend yourself in your divorce, the unrepresented party typically receives the short end of the stick when one side has representation. Equalize the playing field for yourself by retaining an experienced divorce lawyer.
What Are Abington, Pennsylvania’s Grounds for Divorce?
In Pennsylvania, when seeking a divorce, you must establish provide the grounds or legal justification for your divorce. You must present proof of the irreparable breakdown of your marriage. Although the grounds for divorce may be numerous and diverse, they must all come down to what the court deems sufficient legal grounds.
In the United States, married couples can dissolve their union by requesting a divorce, regardless of blame. Most states used to only issue fault-based divorces, but all of them now recognize some type of no-fault divorce. Both “fault-based” and “no-fault” divorces are legal in Pennsylvania.
No-Fault Grounds for Divorce in Pennsylvania
In a no-fault divorce, neither spouse is required to show that the other’s bad behavior was the reason for the split. Because there is no need for contention over or proof of blame in no-fault divorces in Pennsylvania, they are resolved more quickly than fault-based divorces.
In either of the following two circumstances, Pennsylvania courts will grant a no-fault divorce:
- Mutual consent: 90 days have passed since the divorce petition was filed, both partners concur that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and both have submitted a sworn statement called an Affidavit of Consent indicating their consent to the divorce.
- One year’s separation: one spouse likely does not want to be divorced, but the marriage is allegedly irretrievably broken, and the other spouse files an affidavit claiming that they have been living separately for at least one year.
To file for divorce on the grounds of one-year separation, the defendant must not deny any of the allegations in the affidavit. Suppose the defendant does deny any allegation in the affidavit. In that case, a judge will still grant a divorce if it is determined after a hearing that the spouses have lived separately for at least a year and the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Fault-Based Grounds for Divorce in Pennsylvania
When one spouse has done something to contribute to the breakdown of the marriage, Pennsylvania judges will award innocent and injured spouses a fault-based divorce. In a fault-based divorce, one or both spouses must provide the judge with proof that the other acted in a way that satisfies one of the fault-based grounds for divorce in Pennsylvania.
The following behaviors fall under one of Pennsylvania’s fault-based grounds for divorce:
- The other spouse has committed willful and malicious desertion, having been away from the other spouse’s residence for a year or longer without good reason.
- The other spouse has been unfaithful.
- The life or health of the innocent spouse has been compromised by the other spouse’s cruel and barbarous treatment.
- The other spouse intentionally entered a bigamous marriage when a previous marriage was still active.
- The other spouse has received a two-year or longer prison sentence.
- The other spouse treated the innocent and injured spouse with such disgrace that it made their life difficult and stressful.
- The other spouse has a severe mental illness that has kept them locked up in a mental facility for at least 18 months before filing for divorce, and there is no possibility that they will be released from inpatient care in the 18 months following the divorce.
Fault-based divorces are typically much more expensive since each spouse must retain legal counsel and other specialists to testify on their behalf in court and provide information that will significantly impact the judge’s decision.
How to Start an Abington Divorce Process
One or both spouses must have resided in Pennsylvania for at least the previous six months to initiate a divorce in this state. The person seeking a divorce (the plaintiff) submits a complaint in which they explain to the court why they should be granted a divorce from their spouse (the defendant).
You must file your divorce papers in a Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas to obtain a divorce in Abington.
The Difference Between an Uncontested and Contested Divorce
Your divorce may be contested or uncontested. When the spouses agree to the divorce and property distribution, concur on every aspect of the divorce, including property distribution, child custody, and alimony, it is referred to as an uncontested divorce. Contrarily, in a contested divorce, the parties must refer to the court to resolve the issues because they disagree on at least one point.
Uncontested divorces allow partners to settle all issues without requiring a judge’s participation. The judge simply needs to evaluate, sanction, and issue a divorce decree after approving approve the parties’ marital settlement agreement and issue the final decree in divorce.
Uncontested divorces have several advantages that benefit both parties, including:
- Instead of a judge, spouses get to decide on matters concerning them and their children.
- Because there is no arguing in court, uncontested divorces typically resolve more quickly and cost less than contested divorces.
- Even with legal assistance, an uncontested divorce is typically much more affordable.
- Since the process is quicker, it is less stressful for both parties and their children.
- It usually lacks the combative atmosphere of a litigated divorce. This can minimize resentment and animosity, especially if spouses are forced to maintain a relationship because they have children.
It is crucial to realize that if the parties cannot agree, an uncontested divorce may turn into a contested one. Similarly, the process might start with heated arguments but end in an uncontested divorce thanks to mediation and other options. To avoid the expense, stress, and difficulties of disputed divorce proceedings, your Abington divorce attorney can assist you in working toward a fair resolution to your case.
Get Help With Your Divorce From a Reliable Abington Divorce Lawyer
For many people, going through a divorce is one of the most challenging times in their life. While some couples may complete the divorce process in months, others may find themselves embroiled in a more complex situation that could drag on for years. Stringent legal criteria govern every aspect of legal separation, including how to file the paperwork, where to file it, how assets should be divided, and terms of visitation if children are involved.
The divorce process can be challenging to understand. Without competent legal counsel, a divorce could be carried out unfairly and have a long-lasting negative impact on a person’s life. To help you navigate the divorce process and reduce your stress during this trying time, Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford can put you in touch with reliable divorce attorneys in Abington, Pennsylvania. Contact our firm online or call (215) 822-7575 to get in touch with an Abington divorce lawyer today.