Fast Facts on Divorce
With the divorce rates rising in the United States, it’s probable that you know someone who has is divorced. Depending on how close you are to the person, you may even know some of the basic requirements and processes that occur.
Who Can File?
In order to file for divorce in Pennsylvania, one of the spouses, or both, must have lived in Pennsylvania for the six months preceding filing. The spouse who files must also file in the county where they reside.
What Kind Of Divorce?
When the spouse files, they must state the grounds for divorce. Pennsylvania recognizes two kinds of divorce: fault and no fault. Fault divorce is self-explanatory; this includes things like adultery, desertion, abuse, incarceration for two or more years, or bigamy. In these cases, it is clear what the reason for the divorce is. For various reasons, fault divorces in Pennsylvania are rare, even in some of the situations described above.
No-fault divorce is the opposite. This occurs when the spouses mutually agree to a divorce for things like irreconcilable differences, or if one spouse is put away for things like mental disorders with no chance at release in the next eighteen months. A no-fault divorce can be completed within 90 days of filing.
What About Alimony?
Alimony is money paid by one spouse to the other after the divorce. This is usually determined by a judge, after looking at a variety of factors. These include:
- The income of both spouses
- The lifestyle of the couple during the marriage
- The contributions made by each spouse to the household
- Whether the couple bought property during the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- Whether there are children from the marriage, and the way earning potential will be reduced for the spouse who has custody of the children
- Whether abuse occurred by either spouse during the marriage
- If either spouse is expecting to receive an inheritance
Dependent on these factors, one spouse may be ordered to pay a monthly amount to the other, with the amount and length of time to be determined by the judge.
Division Of Property
Division of property in Pennsylvania is done on an equitable basis. Similar to alimony, a judge will look at a number of factors when making a decision. These include:
- Length of the marriage
- If either spouse was married before
- Income of each spouse, as well as the future earning capacity of each spouse
- Age and health of each spouse
- The contribution of each spouse to both the income of the family and the household
All told, the process of filing for and being granted a divorce has many steps and things to consider. This can occasionally be straight forward enough for the spouses to file on their own, but often a lawyer is needed to handle the complex details.
If you or someone you know is going through or considering a divorce, contact us at Kardos, Rickles & Hand for help. Our experienced Bucks County divorce attorneys can help you figure out your rights, the best way to move forward, and offer support during this difficult time.