There are many reasons for Pittsburgh couples to get divorced. Going through a divorce is never easy. There are several terms that divorcing couples need to agree on in order to move forward, especially regarding division of marital property and child custody matters. Coming to a mutual agreement with your former partner is the most ideal situation; however, this outcome isn’t always possible.
Discuss Your Case with a Seasoned Pittsburgh Divorce Attorney
Working with a skilled family law attorney can help you navigate an often challenging situation. At Jones Gregg Creehan & Gerace, our divorce attorneys can provide you with effective legal guidance while fighting on your behalf and protecting your interests. We aim to reduce the stress of ending your marriage and provide clients with personalized attention. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
Legal Services Offered By Our Law Firm
Jones Gregg Creehan & Gerace is a full-service law firm providing clients with legal representation on a wide range of issues. Our broad experience helps us advise clients on all the legal issues that arise during divorce. When we represent clients, our goal is to provide support and communicate effectively, so clients feel confident during a trying time. We use our experience to advocate for clients on many different issues related to divorce, including the following:
- Child custody
- Spousal support/alimony
- Division of property
- Settlement agreements
- Father’s rights
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- High-net-worth cases
- Cases involving family businesses
Skilled Attorneys Who Handle No-Fault and Fault-Based Divorce
To become divorced in Pennsylvania, one or both spouses must have lived in the state for at least six months immediately before filing a petition. The spouse who filed the petition must prove a legal ground for dissolving their marriage. There are two types of divorce in Pennsylvania, no-fault and fault-based. Pursuing a no-fault can be ideal because the process is less complicated, emotionally draining, and generally less expensive. Couples must pursue a fault-based when they cannot resolve their differences.
Before 1980, any person seeking a divorce would need to prove fault. Since then, a divorcing couple can pursue a no-fault divorce. However, a person can still pursue a fault-based divorce in Pennsylvania if they choose to do so. In a fault-based, there will be a separate hearing so a judge can evaluate evidence and determine whether the fault-based grounds have been proven.
These types of divorces usually come with additional delays and expenses, resulting in many individuals pursuing a no-fault divorce. There are six fault-based grounds in Pennsylvania, including desertion, adultery, cruel treatment, bigamy, imprisonment of more than two years, and indignities.
In a no-fault, the spouse pursuing a divorce does not need to prove that a recognized fault-based ground has occured. In other words, the couple does not need to blame each other for any misconduct during the marriage. In a no-fault, the couple simply wants to end their marriage because it isn’t working. There are two ways to obtain one in Pennsylvania: through mutual consent or based on an irretrievable breakdown.
Divorce Based on Mutual Consent
This type is often called an uncontested divorce. The spouses do not have to be separated for a specific time to pursue a mutual consent divorce. They must wait 90 days after filing a petition before the judge can grant the final decree. During the 90-day waiting period, they must work together on their settlement agreement. If they cannot agree, court hearings may be required. They will also need to make sworn statements claiming they consent to the divorce and that their marriage is irretrievably broken.
Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage
An irretrievably broken marriage is an accepted legal ground for a no-fault case in Pennsylvania. This type is similar to a mutual consent divorce but occurs under different circumstances. The plaintiff filing for divorce must declare that the spouses have lived separately for at least one year. The responding spouse must claim that he or she isn’t opposed to divorce. If the judge decides that the couple may reconcile, they will be given a 90 to 100 days period to try marital counseling. If you are unsure about which type to pursue, the attorneys at Jones Gregg Creehan & Gerace are ready to answer your questions and help you make an informed decision.
Negotiators Pursuing a Fair Division of Marital Assets
Agreeing on how to divide marital property can be one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce. Pennsylvania follows equitable distribution laws. Courts will divide and distribute assets and debts acquired during the marriage, but not necessarily in a fifty-fifty split. Judges will consider multiple factors when dividing property, such as:
- Whether the parties were previously married
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s age, health, and income
- Which party will have physical custody of minor children
- Whether one party has suffered assets that are of greater value
Representing Parents in Child Custody Matters
Issues related to child custody and visitation can also be emotionally draining and nerve-racking for parents. Judges will consider multiple factors when deciding on child custody arrangements. The attorneys at Jones Gregg Creehan & Gerace will work with you to pursue a child custody arrangement that is in your child’s best interest. We will represent you every step of the way, advocating for you and your child’s rights.
Contact a Divorce Attorney in Pittsburgh
The experienced family law attorneys at Jones Gregg Creehan & Gerace strive to make the divorce process as smooth as possible for our clients. We will carefully listen to your concerns and goals related to the outcome of your divorce. Throughout the entire process, we will advocate for your best interest while keeping you informed of any updates in your case. Whether you’re pursuing a fault or no-fault divorce in Pittsburgh, we are here to help. Contact Jones Gregg Creehan & Gerace today to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about our legal services.