If you are heading for divorce, you may be overwhelmed by all that needs to be done. There are so many things to decide and address. Fortunately, you don’t have to face this difficult time alone. Experienced divorce lawyers have guided clients through the divorce process innumerable times, and the right attorney will know how to help you deal with every possible scenario.
Understanding the divorce process and decisions you need to make
Essentially, the process of getting a divorce can be simplified into three general areas. These are the areas you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will need to settle before you can move on. They include:
1. Property division
You and your spouse will need to determine which assets and debts are individual property (owned prior to marriage or received through inheritance or a personal injury settlement) and which assets and debts are marital property (acquired or earned during your marriage.)
Once this has been determined, you can go about the process of divvying up your assets and debts. Higher value assets — such as business interests and real estate — can be more complicated to divide due to establishing values and determining tax consequences. Also, you will need to figure out what to do your primary home. Will one of you keep it and buy out the others? Will you sell it and divide up the equity?
2. Child support and alimony
Pennsylvania courts have clear guidelines for determining who will pay child support and spousal support (alimony), and for determining exactly how much support that spouse must pay. Note that there are recent changes to support guidelines in the state that may affect what you or your ex are entitled to.
3. Child custody and visitation
Parents will also need to make tough decisions about child custody and visitation. Will they share their parenting time and have the children live with them 50/50? Will one parent be the full-time custodial parent and the other parent have visitation rights? How will the parenting schedule or visitation schedule be organized? These questions and more must be settled and agreed to prior to finalizing your divorce.
Are you ready to begin your divorce process in Pennsylvania?
Deciding to divorce is never easy, but once you’ve chosen to go through with the process, you’ll need to go about it in an organized and methodical fashion. The more you understand about the requirements of Pennsylvania divorce proceedings and family law, the easier your divorce will be.