This is of course an overly simplified overview of how many divorces are resolved. No two matters are ever alike, so each case requires careful planning and special attention. We represent both men and women, high-net-worth cases, and people of modest means. Many of the divorces we handle involve homeowners with medium-length marriages where there are minor children involved.
We have represented families from all walks of life with diverse education and socio-economic circumstances. We handle cases where one party is employed and the other is a stay-at-home parent. We handle cases where both parties are employed.
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We have handled cases where the parties own their own businesses and others where they are employed in any number of professional careers or trades. A growing trend in family law is utilizing alternative dispute resolution instead of going to court. Every family is unique and every case is unique. With us, you have options regarding how much control you will have in the final outcome and how much you want to argue or simply move on with your life.
Sometimes, parties can resolve their issues without court intervention. However, there are also times where various issues require various forms of litigation. These matters can include claims for spousal support or deciding how the marital assets and debts should be divided equitable distribution of marital property. Depending on the ability of the parties to cooperate, and the extent of issues involved, the pendency of a divorce action can vary greatly in length.
If the defendant consents to a divorce, the matter can be resolved as early as 90 days following service of the divorce complaint. If you have already tried counseling or simply believe that your marriage is beyond repair, we can help you to get a divorce, and explain the related issues. We welcome the opportunity to assist you. Both parties to a divorce have numerous issues to plan for including any or all of the following:. For divorcing parents, custody of the children and minimizing the emotional impact on the children is of the utmost concern.
There are numerous programs to assist families going through a divorce, and the parties may participate in individual counseling, family counseling, or co-parenting counseling. If the parties both receive informed legal counsel regarding their rights and responsibilities, they may find that they are better served by agreeing upon various involved issues such as: the distribution of assets; a custody agreement or spousal support if applicable, without the need to litigate matters.
However, frequently the court needs to be involved to make difficult decisions that will greatly affect the parties to a divorce and their children. We view litigation as a last resort that should be undertaken only when there is no prospect of amicably resolving the issues, or when meaningful settlement has failed. Generally, a divorce is a legal ending to a marriage that was already over for some time for all intents and purposes. Other times, one party has contemplated divorce for a while, while the other party is completely shocked at its prospect.
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Accordingly, we stress that there is no winner or loser in a divorce. Sometimes, both parties are upset at the ultimate resolution, because they still have feelings or resentment for the other party or regarding the circumstances, which led to the divorce. Compounding the marital discord is the reality of being required to pay the other spouse more than they feel they owe, or because they feel they have not received enough from the other spouse.
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Going through a divorce can be very trying emotionally and financially for both parties. In addition the families of each party may also be affected by a divorce, and no amount of planning can fully prepare one for its effects. However, recognizing the mental strain and stress, which divorce can involve and seeking assistance from family, friends, and professionals can help to alleviate some of this burden.
In most cases, the respective standard of living of each party will decrease as separate residences are required, and each party will have to assume bills, which were previously being paid for with two incomes. In other situations, one spouse may have not been working during the marriage, and may face the prospect of having to re-enter the workforce. Accordingly, it is important to understand the amount of prospective spousal support , which may be owed or received.
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It is also necessary to consider issues such as new employment, medical insurance, opening new bank accounts, securing alternate living arrangements, and perhaps obtaining financial assistance from family or through loans. By having a clear mind at the outset of a divorce action, the parties may save themselves considerable strife and money that often accompanies submitting the various issues to litigation through the family court system.
It is important for you to explain your wishes to your lawyer at the first meeting so that they can work with you to create a plan of action on how best to proceed. You can never ask too many questions!
Allegheny County Divorce Attorney - Law Office of Allison Gaffen
Some couples will discuss the divorce and their respective wishes, and only require attorneys to handle the legal documents. Often the parties are in partial agreement as to the split, but disagree strongly over how the assets will be divided and who will remain in the marital home. Other times, the parties are unable to agree upon any issues and require frequent intervention through the court. Regardless of the circumstances, it is often much easier for both parties to speak to independent legal counsel to learn their rights and obligations. We always seek to resolve matters in the most reasonable way possible.
Accordingly, we strive to conduct meaningful settlement discussions and negotiation with the opposing party if possible. At the same time, if your matter requires that we take a tough stance on a certain issue, or if we are forced to litigate some of your claims, we will fight hard for your best interests, while keeping the big picture in mind. We do not endeavor to be difficult if things may be resolved. We want to obtain the most favorable results to you, and often that means compromising in order to resolve things more quickly, thereby keeping your costs down and reducing the amount of stress you will have to endure.
We are definitely not your "typical" divorce Firm - refreshingly honest and straightforward. You hire us to handle the legal and economic matters that will need to be resolved. It is a kind of death, as it signifies the end of a relationship that was entered into as a perfect union. When one or both spouses seek the dissolution of marriage in Pennsylvania, one spouse begins the process of divorce by filing a complaint against their spouse in the appropriate county court.
A divorce is like any other lawsuit in that it starts with the filing and service of a complaint. In Pennsylvania, there are two types of divorce proceedings: Fault, and no-fault. You can achieve a no-fault divorce in a few ways, and the quickest path to divorce in PA is through an uncontested, no-fault divorce. This is a lengthy legal process that is both expensive, and often difficult to prove in court.
Two positions must be proven: That the other spouse is at fault; and that the plaintiff had no faulty behavior of their own during the marriage which contributed to its demise. Most marital partnerships will have to undergo the legal process of dividing marital properties, assets and debts before the divorce decree can be granted. If the marriage was entered into with a prenuptial agreement , then this phase may be significantly shortened. The benefits of an unbiased prenuptial review and evaluation have been tremendous to our clients.
How we help … Attorney Dana Richardson is specifically qualified to review, evaluate and negotiate contracts and agreements between parties.
She has a legally trained and watchful eye for terms, conditions, loopholes and potential pitfalls in any contractual language. Dissolving the partnership of marriage usually takes an emotional toll on each spouse, and that toll is compounded when children are involved.
Settling debts, income and assets in a way that is practical and fair to you and your children is what we do.