What options do I have when filing for divorce in Pennsylvania?
If you are planning to file for divorce in the state of Pennsylvania, you essentially have three options available to you when it comes to how you file for divorce. Those three options are:
- Mutual Consent Divorce - To file for a mutual consent divorce, both parties must agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken. This can be agreed to and stated in the file for divorce. A 90-day waiting period will follow before a no-fault divorce is granted.
- Unconsented Divorce - This type of divorce can be granted when one party refuses to consent to a divorce. This can only be arranged if the couple has been living separately for at least one year and it can be proved that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
- Fault Divorce - The legal grounds for a fault-based divorce include desertion, bigamy, adultery, a jail sentence of two or more years, and cruel treatment that is considered a danger to the plaintiff's life or health. A fault divorce can also be filed if one party has been confined to a mental institution for at least 18 months.
How does the divorce court award alimony?
Alimony essentially serves as financial support for one party after divorce proceedings have been finalized. In the state of Pennsylvania, both spouses can be eligible to receive alimony, and alimony payments can be agreed upon by both parties, or if necessary, mandated by a court order. If a couple agrees to an alimony payment on their own, the amount, duration, and manner of the payments can still be modified by the court if the court deems it necessary.
If the couple cannot come to their own alimony agreement, the court can devise their own order for alimony payments based on a number of different factors. These factors typically include the length of the marriage, the division of the couple's marital assets, earning capacities, age, and other factors. All of these things will be taken into consideration to determine the amount of alimony, and the length of time the alimony will be paid. It's important to note that alimony must be requested as part of a divorce action before the court actually grants the divorce. Once alimony has been granted, the person receiving alimony will lose the right to receive it as soon as he or she remarries.
At the end of the day, all of these details can become difficult to sort through without an experienced divorce attorney and family law expert working with you to help you understand your situation and the options you have available to you. The divorce and alimony attorneys at the Voelcker & Wagner Law Office are here to help clients across the Susquehanna Valley area with any and all matters related to divorce and family law. If you need help getting through your situation, contact our firm today and let us provide you with trusted guidance and support.