Guide to Finding Pennsylvania Divorce Lawyer

Guide to Finding Pennsylvania Divorce Lawyer

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Guide to Finding Pennsylvania Divorce Lawyer
Many states will have differing divorce laws defining the division of property and the reasons to file for divorce.  Although there are general state guidelines for agreements such as child support, conditions for spousal support and custody are also determined on a case by case basis.  A Pennsylvania divorce lawyer will be able to guide you through divorce in Pennsylvania and achieve a favorable outcome to the case.  You will be able to set up child support arrangements as well as dictate the terms of that agreement so that the outcome is favorable to both your needs and the needs of the child.  The Pennsylvania divorce lawyer, through making a strong case, will afford you the flexibility to dictate some or all of the terms in the settlement or during the subsequent trial, if necessary.


How do I know my Pennsylvania divorce lawyer is legitimate?
The Pennsylvania Bar Association is a voluntary organization of Pennsylvania divorce lawyers and others that abide by a code of professionalism and ethics.  You will be able to feel secure in the knowledge that you have a lawyer that abides by these professional codes and will have the entire resources of the Association, including continuing legal education and a professional network of similar lawyers that will be able to advise and guide the case.
The Pennsylvania Bar offers a low-cost lawyer referral service that can connect clients to a potential Pennsylvania divorce lawyer that will able to take their case.  This service charges $30 for a 30 minute consultation, $15 of which is returned to the lawyer referral service.  If the lawyer you are connected to will not charge for consultations, which is common in personal injury cases, then the fee will be only $15, all of which is returned to the service.


How do I prepare for my consultation?
When seeking to file a divorce, meet with the Pennsylvania divorce lawyer to discuss strategy for the case.  You should bring documents such as a listing of shared assets, agreements between the spouses and in cases involving spousal support, documents detailing the incomes and assets of the other spouse.  The intention of spousal support is to maintain a similar standard of living for the spouse that makes less salary, especially if this spouse retains custody of the children.  Many spouses will attempt to conceal assets to prevent its consideration into spousal support arrangements.  If you have knowledge of such assets, you must bring this to the attention of the Pennsylvania divorce lawyer.


How does child support factor for divorces in Pennsylvania?
Although the ultimate determination for the level of child support is at the discretion of the court, there is a formula that accounts for cost of health insurance, existing support payments to other spouses and children and gross monthly income.  This formula can develop a guideline for child support.  
With this formula a non-custodial parent with one child, an income of $60,000, no other alimony arrangements and contributes $500 to group health insurance, will pay a significant amount of support to a spouse with $20,000 gross income and no contribution to insurance.  Using a typical Pennsylvania child support calculator, we can estimate that the custodial parent will receive roughly $1,181 a month from the non-custodial parent.  This will help maintain the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage and also take care of the needs of the child.  A Pennsylvania divorce lawyer will help you to determine guidelines for child support payments, or impose conditions on those payments if you are the non-custodial parent.  Conditions could include requiring a portion of the payments saved for the child’s college education rather than having the spending at the discretion of the custodial parent.
A Pennsylvania divorce lawyer can work with this formula to adjust the amount of payments to best suit your needs.  The Pennsylvania divorce lawyer can also help defend the current level of child support in the event of a reassessment.  Reassessments occur if there is a significant change in the financial status of either parent, or if the income paying the child support is derived from public support payments.


What are some grounds for divorce in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania state law allows for an absolute divorce, at the fault of one of the spouses due to the following grounds:
- Adultery

- Willful and malicious desertion, without reasonable case for more than one year
- Bigamy, willfully entering a marriage before another marriage has been dissolved

- Sentencing to imprisonment for a term of more than two years
- A burden placed by repeated indignities that makes life unbearable

- Physical and mental cruelty that endangers the health of the other spouse
No fault divorces can happen with the mutual consent of both spouses.  A no fault divorce can also happen when the spouses have lived apart for more than two years and the marriage is all but broken.  In a mutual divorce, an amicable settlement can be reached grading the status of children, spousal support and division of property.


What will I pay for the services of a Pennsylvania divorce lawyer?
There are a number of factors that will determine the amount of fees that will have to be paid to a pennsylvania divorce lawyer.  If the divorce is at fault and contested, ten this case will last longer and will entail more billing from the lawyer.  If the divorce is amicable and no fault, then this option will not only be cheaper, but also might even be resolved at a flat rate and a few joint sessions with a Pennsylvania divorce lawyer that works with divorce mediation.
Some divorce services, such as mutual divorces or divorce petition preparation are offered at flat rates.  This is useful for individuals or couples that want to avoid the potentially damaging legal expenses that accompany divorce and are will to try an alternative dispute resolution to achieve an equitable division of assets.  Arrangements made through mutual divorce as just as legally binding as those made in a court of law.
A retainer is a fee that remains in a trust account.  This may become an expensive arrangement as every time the lawyer performs a service related to your case, he charges this account.  Leftover retainer can be returned to the client, but there is also a chance that the attorney will exhaust the retainer and require the client to refill the account.  The retainer does not include court costs, which are also paid by the client.  However, these fees, such as the fees for filing the case, are fixed.
Take advantage of free consultations when they are available to discuss potential fees and payment arrangements with Pennsylvania divorce lawyers.  The above fees do not consider court costs, which are also paid by the client.  You may be able to arrange low cost and extended payment for legal services at the discretion of the attorney or law firm.
Free divorce or child support lawyers may be available to parents that cannot afford a regular lawyer to deal with custody or an adjustment of child support payments.  Especially in cases of domestic violence or other victimization, free services will be easier to obtain.  State authorities will also have child support enforcement units to locate deadbeat non-custodial parents and force them to honor their obligations.  Additionally enforcement mechanisms include suspension of licenses, interception of lottery winnings and withholding of public or entitled benefits.
What are questions to ask Pennsylvania divorce support lawyers?
How does my case relate to Pennsylvania state and local laws?
What are your fees and do you have alternate payment plans?
How is gross income calculated in Pennsylvania for the purposes of child support?
Do you see any potential flaws in my child support claim?
Can you represent me if I need to sue for non-payment of child support?
While the decision to end a marriage is never an easy one, divorce lawyers in Pennsylvania will make the process as pain free as possible.  Before consulting with a divorce lawyer in Pennsylvania, ensure that your marriage is broken and that there is no hope for the marriage to continue.  After you assess your situation, determine if you can pursue a no fault or mutual divorce.  Choosing either of these options will be significantly cheaper than having both spouses hire lawyers and attack each other at settlement and at trial.  Specialized divorce lawyers Pennsylvania will offer flat rate divorce mediation sessions to divide property, child support, and custody equitably.  You can achieve this in just a few short sessions with a divorce lawyer Pennsylvania.  You may also pay for this service hourly if you feel confident that you and your spouse will come to a solution in a matter of hours.  Be warned that divorce can often be a lengthy and complex process.  For at fault divorces be prepared to retain a divorce lawyer in Pennsylvania as you will need to prove as well as make the appropriate claims against the other spouse and legal representation.

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