DIVORCE LAW AT HUGHES & MASHINSKI, P.C.
Every thirteen seconds a divorce happens in the United States. A divorce or separation can be a painful and emotional process. Hughes & Mashinski want to be there to support you when you need it most. Our attorneys are ready to represent you in every aspect of your divorce, whether that is out of court or in a trial. If you are considering divorce, you need experienced legal counsel who will protect your rights at every turn. Contact Hughes & Mashinski, your PA divorce experts, as soon as possible.
Divorce Law in Pennsylvania
When filing for divorce, the spouses agree to end their legal and financial relationship to one another. In Pennsylvania, there are two classifications of divorce: fault and no-fault divorces. In the case of fault divorces, one of the spouses needs to prove that there is some fault-based grounds for divorce. These grounds can include adultery, desertion, insanity, or unusually cruel treatment. No-fault divorces are much more common, with both spouses agreeing that the marriage is irretrievably broken. No-fault divorces can be resolved as early as 90-days after filing. In Pennsylvania, if spouses cannot agree to terms, the court takes control over the matter. A judge will decide how the assets are divided and which parent retains custody. The experienced attorneys at H&M are here to keep the decision-making in your hands.
Divorce Law Questions
Getting a divorce can be a confusing process. Most people are unsure of where to begin and they have many questions. The attorneys at H&M can make it clearer and answer the following:
- How long does the divorce process take?
- What are considered “grounds for divorce”?
- How long must I have lived in PA prior to filing for divorce in a state court?
- At what point am I considered “legally separated?”
- Will I have to take my divorce case to court?
- And more
With your marriage coming to an end, there are so many things to consider. Our staff is equipped to guide you through the legalese and will assist you in coming to the most favorable outcome possible.
Why Hughes & Mashinski for Your Divorce Proceedings?
The lawyers at H&M have decades of combined experience dealing with spousal support and alimony, distribution of marital assets and debts, name changes, and all other aspects of the divorce process. The family law system can be frustrating and complex. You’re going to want a local attorney who understands PA divorce law and will have your best interests at heart. Our law office is conveniently located in Plains, PA. Call us at 570-823-0101 for a free consultation today.
Divorce Term Glossary
Filing Spouse Title
- Plaintiff. The Plaintiff is the spouse whose Pennsylvania lawyer initiates the Divorce Complaint with the family law or domestic relations court.
Non-Filing Spouse Title
- Defendant. The Defendant is the spouse whose Pennsylvania lawyer does not file the initial divorce papers.
- Court of Common Pleas, __________ County, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania court where the divorce will be filed by Pennsylvania lawyers. The court will assign a case number and have jurisdictional rights to facilitate and grant the orders concerning, but not limited to: property and debt division, support, custody, and visitation. The name of the court is clearly represented at the top of all documents that are filed.
- Complaint for Divorce and Decree of Divorce. These are the essential documents Pennsylvania lawyers use to start and finalize a divorce according to Pennsylvania law. There are anywhere from ten to twenty other documents that may be required throughout the filing process.
Court Clerk’s Title
- County Clerk’s Office of the Court of Common Pleas. The clerk or the clerk’s assistants will be the people managing your paperwork with the court. The clerk’s office will keep the parties and their Pennsylvania lawyers informed throughout the process in regards to additional paperwork that is needed, further requirements, and hearing dates and times.
- Property Distribution. Since Pennsylvania is an “equitable distribution” state, the marital property shall be divided in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what is fair. The court will encourage the parties and their Pennsylvania lawyer to reach a settlement on property and debt issues otherwise the court will declare the property award.
- Lien. The court may impose a lien or charge upon property of a party as security for the payment of alimony or any other award for the other party, including legal fees for their Pennsylvania lawyers.
- Family home. The court may award, during the pendency of the action or otherwise, to one or both of the parties the right to reside in the marital residence.
- Life insurance. The court may direct the continued maintenance and beneficiary designations of existing policies insuring the life or health of either party which were originally purchased during the marriage and owned by or within the effective control of either party. Where it is necessary to protect the interests of a party, the court may also direct the purchase of, and beneficiary designations on, a policy insuring the life or health of either party. (Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes – Title 23 – Sections: 3501, 3502, 3505)
- Spousal Support. Not all cases involve support from one spouse to the other. The obligation of one spouse to support the other financially for a temporary or permanent basis is decided on a case-by-case basis as agreed to by the parties or at the court’s discretion.
- Duration. The court in ordering alimony shall determine the duration of the order, which may be for a definite or an indefinite period of time which is reasonable under the circumstances.
- Statement of reasons. In an order made under this section, the court shall set forth the reason for its denial or award of alimony and the amount thereof.
- Modification and termination. An order entered pursuant to this section is subject to further order of the court upon changed circumstances of either party of a substantial and continuing nature whereupon the order may be modified, suspended, terminated or reinstituted or a new order made. Any further order shall apply only to payments accruing subsequent to the petition for the requested relief. Remarriage of the party receiving alimony shall terminate the award of alimony. (Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes – Title 23 – Sections: 3701, 3702, 3704, 3706)
- Child Custody. When minor children are involved in a divorce, the Pennsylvania courts will do everything possible to help lessen the emotional trauma the children may be experiencing. If the parents cannot come to an agreement regarding the issues involving the children through their Pennsylvania lawyers, the court will establish the custody order at its discretion.
- Child Support. Pennsylvania child support guidelines are based on the Income Shares Model for calculating child support. The monthly support amount determined by applying the guidelines is divided proportionally according to each parent¹s income. These two support amounts are then offset to establish which parent will pay the other parent for support of the child. All income is typically verified by examining past W-2’s and child support worksheets are available at the courthouse.