Protecting Your Interests In Divorce
Divorce is never easy, but we can help you get through the process in a way that is less stressful. With a knowledgeable, supportive lawyer on your side, you will have an advocate who protects your rights while providing the support you need.
Please call our Pittsburgh office at 412-621-6811 to schedule a free consultation with our experienced divorce lawyers.
Skilled Negotiation And Assertive Litigation Tactics
At Beroes Law Center, we are skilled litigators who are not afraid to take your case to court. Family law attorneys Elizabeth Ann Beroes and Julie Elizabeth Beroes have the knowledge and experience to protect you at trial. However, we know that aggressive, in-court litigation is not always the best method of resolution for every client.
As a result, we can also resolve divorce matters through negotiation or mediation as these methods often result in less anxiety and expense. We represent clients throughout Allegheny County and the surrounding area.
Skilled Assistance Through Each Stage Of a Pennsylvania Divorce
When an uncontested divorce is filed in Pennsylvania, the parties must separate for 90 days before the divorce can proceed. If one party contests the divorce, the other party must wait for a one-year period of living separate and apart from his or her spouse prior to proceeding to court for a final resolution. After the filing of a Divorce Complaint and a year of separation, the court will grant a divorce decree and final division of property, if these claims have been raised.
Pennsylvania family court strives for an equitable division of the marital estate. In divorce, equitable means “fair,” not necessarily 50-50. Marital assets may include real estate, vehicles, personal property, bank accounts, insurance, retirement savings and investments. Debts such as mortgages, car loans, credit card debt and taxes must also be divided. Our attorneys are experienced in addressing complex cases and preventing spouses from hiding assets in the settlement process.
Spousal support and alimony pendente lite (APL) are two different things. Spousal support is awarded while the couple is still married but separated, while APL applies after filing for divorce and is intended to assist the lower income earner during divorce litigation. Once the divorce is finalized and the marital estate settled, alimony may be awarded by the court if alimony factors have been satisfied.
Common Divorce Questions, Answered
As you contemplate divorce, you may be filled with questions. Below, we have answered some of the most common questions that prospective clients ask about Pennsylvania divorce. After you’ve finished reading, we would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have during a free consultation.
Does one spouse need to be considered at fault in order to get a divorce?
Thankfully, the answer is no. Like all other states, Pennsylvania allows no-fault divorce. In fact, there are two no-fault filing options. The first is divorce by “mutual consent.” If each spouse consents to the divorce and observes a 90-day waiting period, the divorce can be finalized.
The other option is to cite an “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage. This option is often utilized when one spouse does not consent to the divorce and the other spouse wants to utilize a no-fault option. The couple needs to have lived separately for at least one year, and the plaintiff spouse needs to allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
If my spouse destroyed our marriage, can I file fault-based divorce?
Yes, you can, but doing so comes with some important caveats. Pennsylvania law allows married individuals to file for divorce by alleging that their spouse engaged in one or more of the following actions or behaviors: Infidelity, bigamy, desertion for at least one year, cruel treatment that endangered the life/health of the other spouse or forcing the other spouse to live under intolerable conditions. Fault-divorce is also allowed if one spouse has been convicted of a crime and has been sentenced to at least two years in prison.
It is sometimes necessary or advantageous to file fault-based divorce, but it does require the extra work (and stress) of alleging and proving fault. You should consult with an attorney who can help you decide which option to choose based on the circumstances of your case.
How long will I have to wait to get divorced in Pennsylvania?
Depending on the issues to be resolved in your divorce, the process could take many months to play out. Even if you and your spouse have resolved all issues on day one, however, there will likely be a waiting period that you’ll need to observe.
If you file for divorce citing an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, you and your spouse will need to live apart from one another for at least a year (if you haven’t done so already). If divorcing is based on mutual consent, you will need to wait 90 days to finalize the divorce.
Can I get divorced in Pennsylvania if I move here from another state?
Yes, you can, but you may need to wait if your move occurred recently. Pennsylvania’s residency requirements state that you or your spouse must have lived here for at least six months before you become eligible to file for divorce.