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DIVORCE & FAMILY LAW – THE BASICS

by Robert M. Diorio

Divorce

In Pennsylvania, a divorce can be filed if one of the spouses has lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing in the county where at least one of the spouses resides. A divorce can be Fault, based upon grounds such as indignities, adultery, cruelty, and desertion, or more commonly, No Fault, either by mutual consent, or unilaterally by one spouse after a two-year separation.

Child Support and Temporary Alimony/Spousal Support

Child and spousal support and temporary alimony may be awarded as determined by the Pennsylvania Support Guidelines, and other applicable law. In addition to other relevant factors, the Guidelines are generally based upon the parties’ net incomes and/or earning capacities.

Property Distribution

Marital property is divided at the Court’s discretion, based upon principles of equity, in consideration of the 13 factors cited in the Pennsylvania Divorce Code. Equitable does not necessarily mean equal, and therefore, an unequal percentage distribution between the parties is not uncommon.

Alimony

Post-divorce payments are permissible, once again at the Court’s discretion, in consideration of 17 factors in the Divorce Code, such as earnings, earning capacities, duration of the marriage and standards of living.

Custody

Paramount in most divorces is determination of custody and partial custody of the parties’ children, based upon the best interests of the children, not the parents. Custody encompasses both legal custody, concerning the right to make major decisions for the children, and physical custody, which involves the selected residence of and physical access to the children. In Pennsylvania, grandparents may also be able to enforce custody rights.

Divorce Counsel/Mediation

Divorce is generally a complex legal process, and therefore the engagement of qualified counsel is essential. In addition to hiring their own attorneys, the parties may also employ an experienced family law attorney to serve as a divorce mediator, which may be helpful in achieving an amicable and less expensive resolution of all issues.

Contact Us

To learn more about the scope of our divorce and family law practice, call us at 610-565-5700 or send us an e-mail. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request, and we will travel to meet with you, if necessary. We accept Visa and MasterCard.

For questions concerning family law issues or divorce mediation, you can also email Robert M. DiOrio, Esquire, directly at: [email protected].

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The National Trial Lawyers

The Law Firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP, is located in Media, PA and serves clients in and around Media, Glen Riddle Lima, Brookhaven, Wallingford, Newtown Square, Lenni, Springfield, Swarthmore, Chester, Aston, Bryn Mawr, Morton, Woodlyn, Broomall, Gradyville, Folsom, Chester Heights, Crum Lynne, Glen Mills, Marcus Hook, Ridley Park, Drexel Hill, Marple, Bethel, Garnet Valley, Chadds Ford Concord, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County.


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