Divorce in Pennsylvania
Divorce is an emotionally charged process in which spouses must make decisions that will impact the rest of their lives. Child custody and child support arrangements, parenting plans, alimony payments, and property settlements require careful planning and often turn out better when spouses can work together amicably. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. No matter how friendly or contentious the split, divorcing spouses are strongly advised to seek legal counsel to preserve their best interests. An experienced and reputable divorce lawyer can help to ensure the divorce settlement is fair to both parties.
The Philadelphia divorce lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. have over 65 years’ experience leading clients through the all types of legal matters. Attorneys at the firm work diligently to ensure that their clients’ legal rights are protected, and their best interests are served. We strive to resolve divorce issues as efficiently as possible through mediation, arbitration, collaboration. However, when litigation is the only option, our experienced trial lawyers serve as zealous advocates for clients who fight to preserve our clients’ best interests.
Types of Divorce
Modern divorce typically happens outside of the courtroom. But in some cases, such as where couples have a volatile relationship or have a high net worth, a judge must step in to finalize the divorce settlement. Just as no two marriages are alike, no two divorce situations are the same. There are many different types of divorce, each addressing the specific circumstances of the divorcing couple.
- No-Fault Divorce – In most states, individuals seeking a divorce are not required to prove fault to qualify for a divorce. In the past, couples had to prove that the divorce was justified because of infidelity, physical or emotional abuse, cruelty, or abandonment of their spouse. Today, couples that mutually consent to end their marriage can divorce by accepting mutual responsibility for its demise.
- Uncontested Divorce – In an uncontested divorce, spouses work together to determine the stipulations of their divorce. Each spouse files their own petition to the court with the stipulations clearly outlined in their divorce settlement. This allows the court to grant the dissolution of the marriage, releasing each spouse from their obligations to the other.
- Default or Absentia Divorce – This type of divorce occurs when one spouse petitions the court because their spouse is unresponsive to their divorce summons. This typically happens when one spouse abandons the other and cannot be located, despite sincere efforts to contact the person. When this is the case, a judge can finalize the divorce without the consent of the absent spouse.
- Summary Divorce – If a couple has no children, assets, or property to split, or they have been married for a short time, a summary divorce can expedite the process. Both spouses simply complete and file the necessary paperwork, which is then processed to make the divorce final.
- Contested Divorce – In some cases, couples cannot avoid utilizing the court system to finalize the details of their divorce. High asset couples and high-conflict divorces often require court appearances, testimony, and in some cases, must go to trial. The process can be long and is often expensive.
- LGBTQ Divorce – While these types of relationships may present some unique challenges, LGBTQ couples can utilize the same divorce proceedings on which heterosexual couples rely.
Hiring the Right Divorce Lawyer is a Critical First Step
Hiring the right divorce lawyer is an important first step to take once a decision has been made to end a marriage. Having skilled legal counsel to represent you is critical to ensure a positive outcome for your family. During this emotionally turbulent time you must feel comfortable with your lawyer so that you can share all pertinent information and discuss possible resolutions that will help you move forward toward a new beginning.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
For many couples, arbitration, mediation, and collaborative divorce can be an efficient and cost-effective alternative to divorce litigation.
- Arbitration – A private arbitrator will listen to both sides of the divorce argument and then render a decision. This decision may be binding or non-binding depending on the circumstances.
- Mediation – A neutral third party helps the couple reach amicable decisions through communication and cooperation. The mediator does not make any final decisions for the couple, but instead assists the couple in the decision-making process.
- Collaborative divorce – Each spouse hires their own lawyer, with an understanding that they will work cooperatively with counsel to reach a divorce settlement. If the couple fails to do so, the lawyers can resign from the case, and the couple will need to start the process over with new counsel.
Legal Counsel Helps Reduce the Stress and Emotional Turmoil of Divorce
When children and marital assets are involved in a divorce, a competent divorce lawyer can ensure that the best interests of the family are served, and that the lifestyles and assets acquired during the marriage are split fairly.
Marriage and divorce laws vary from state to state, and it is imperative that those seeking a divorce rely on legal counsel and representation to ensure the process is as stress free and unemotionally charged as possible. An experienced divorce lawyer can help divorcing clients choose the best path that leads to a fair and favorable divorce settlement.
Philadelphia Divorce Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Advocate for the Best Interests of Our Clients
If you or someone you know is getting a divorce, call the Philadelphia divorce lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. at 888-999-1962, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and North Carolina.