Walking You Through All Aspects of Divorce
Ending a marriage can be a confusing and emotionally wrenching process, involving many difficult decisions. Having an experienced and knowledgeable divorce lawyer on your side can help ease the stress and put you in the best possible position after your divorce.
Skilled Philadelphia Divorce Lawyers
The family law attorneys of Avallone Law Associates have 40 years of experience in these difficult matters. We understand the many aspects of any divorce case and take the time to thoroughly assess each client’s specific situation and needs. Based in Philadelphia, we serve the greater Philadelphia area and surrounding areas of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Our lawyers will discuss your goals and options regarding:
- The cause of the breakdown and grounds for filing divorce
- Division of marital property and debts
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
- Spousal support
Free initial divorce consultation: 215-253-3855.
No-Fault Divorce and Fault Divorce
The first questions we ask every client are “How long have you lived apart?” and “Will your spouse consent to divorce?” Under Pennsylvania law, there are three ways to dissolve a marriage:
- No-fault divorce: You do not need a reason to get divorced under either of these “no-fault” divorce scenarios:
- 1. If your spouse consents to divorce, you can both sign an affidavit stating your agreement to dissolve the marriage. The mutual request is granted after a 90-day “cooling off” period for possible reconciliation.
- 2. Once you have been separated for two years, you can obtain a unilateral divorce (with or without the other’s consent). There is no 90-day wait — you can be divorced as soon as you file all appropriate paperwork. (It will take longer if contested issues have not been resolved).
- Fault-based divorce: If the other spouse will not give consent to end the marriage, and you are not willing to wait for the two-year separation, you have to prove the other spouse is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage, and that you are the innocent and injured spouse. The court recognizes seven grounds in fault divorce: desertion, adultery, cruel and barbarous treatment, bigamy, imprisonment, insanity and indignities.
- Most people can make an argument for “indignities” (poor treatment) suffered in an unhappy marriage. One example is “studied indifference” — the spouse works all day, comes home and utterly ignores you. Claiming indignities is the easiest path to obtain a fault divorce — charges of adultery or cruel and barbarous treatment are more likely to be challenged in court.
- Fault divorces take a minimum of six months to obtain, and can take up to two years. Fault divorces also have higher filing fees (and attorney’s fees) because more hearings are required. For this reason, the vast majority of dissolutions are no-fault. However, if your spouse will not consent to a no-fault divorce (out of spite, hope of reconciling, religious reasons, etc.), this may be your only option.
Annulments in Pennsylvania
Annulment: A church annulment is not legally recognized, but the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania also can annul your marriage. Failure to consummate the marriage is not grounds for annulment. For the commonwealth to annul your marriage, you must show the court that you were married under false pretenses (e.g., the spouse lied about wanting children, or concealed a sexual disease or criminal record), that the marriage was illegal (underage), or that you were unable to give consent at the time because of intoxication, mental illness, etc. There is no waiting period or consent required for annulment.
Contact Us About a No-Fault or Fault Dissolution in Southeast Pennsylvania
Call or contact the attorneys of Avallone Law Associates to discuss strategies for simplifying your divorce. The consultation is free and appointments can be made for evenings and weekends when necessary.
We offer payment plans and accept major credit cards for our clients’ convenience.