Philadelphia Divorce Lawyers
Philadelphia Divorce Attorneys - Welcome to Sadek & Cooper Law OfficesThe Philadelphia Divorce Lawyers of Sadek & Cooper Law Offices are experienced in representing the legal needs of our clients in the Greater Philadelphia area.
Our Philadelphia law offices focus on Family Law matters including divorce, support, equitable distribution, custody and alimony. Our law office provides clients with high-quality legal services, including divorce and family law proceedings while still being able to deliver efficient and affordable legal advice. Our divorce attorneys service Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and provide legal representation for residents of Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Delaware Counties and Southern New Jersey. Our primary divorce law office is conveniently located near public transportation and attractions in Center City Philadelphia, PA.
Ending a marriage can be one of the most complex situations that an individual will ever have to deal with. Every marriage is different and, as a result, every divorce is different. At Sadek and Cooper we understand that your situation is unique and we approach every case with the skills necessary to make sure that your interests are being protected and that you have the best possible chances of achieving your desired outcome.
Under the revised Pennsylvania Divorce Code, a “no-fault” divorce may be obtained without regard to marital fault. The relevant issue in no-fault divorce is whether the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” The Pennsylvania Divorce Code defines an irretrievable breakdown as “estrangement due to marital difficulties with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.” 23 Pa.C.S.A. Section 3103. In addition to irretrievable breakdown, either the consent of both parties or a separation of more than two (2) years is required for a Pennsylvania no-fault divorce. These two no-fault grounds are generally raised simultaneously but ultimately, the no-fault divorce must be requested from the Court on one or the other.
Divorce with the Consent of Both Parties
For the Pennsylvania Court to grant a divorce based on consent of both parties three requirements must be met: 1) A Complaint has been filed alleging irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, 2) more than 90 days have passed since the date of filing the Divorce Complaint with the Pennsylvania Court, and 3) each party has filed an affidavit consenting to entry of a divorce decree. If the parties fail to comply with the court procedures or time restraints, the Court may dismiss the divorce action. It is imperative that you seek legal counsel for all no-fault divorces in order to avoid the headaches and frustration that go along with trying to navigate the legal system and possibly forfeiting important rights that you may have including but not limited to property distribution.
Living Separate for Two Years or More
The court will grant a divorce, at the request of either party where it can be proved that the marriage is irretrievable broken and the parties have lived separate and apart for two (2) years or more. Physical Separation from the marital home by itself will not satisfy the Pennsylvania Divorce Code. One of the parties must demonstrate an intent to terminate the marriage and such intent must be clearly communicated to the other spouse. On the other hand, it is possible to prove that the parties have been living “separate and apart” even if the parties continue to reside in the same household, whether for economic or other reasons. The separation must be a direct result of marital discord and not due to extenuating circumstances such as employment, military service or hospitalization. If you are considering filing for a no-fault divorce but do not necessarily have the cooperation of your spouse, this is the most likely avenue for success. You should contact us at Sadek and Cooper to schedule a free consultation so that we can review your case and make sure that you understand your rights.
Fault Based Divorce Grounds
Although their use is relatively uncommon in Pennsylvania today, the Divorce Code still provides Fault Grounds under which an “innocent and injured spouse” may be granted a divorce in the absence of consent or a two year period of separation. Often, today, these grounds are used as a strategic maneuver or a means to an end more than they are an end in and of themselves. If you believe that your situation falls into any of the below categories, that you have any of the below grounds for divorce, you should contact us at Sadek and Cooper to discuss whether raising fault grounds either instead of or in addition to no-fault grounds may be advantageous to your case.
A divorce may be granted when the defendant has willfully and maliciously deserted the innocent and injured spouse and has remained absent from the Plaintiff, without cause, for more than one year.
Adultery is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person other than the spouse. There are several defenses that exist to a claim of adultery including, but not limited to recrimination, insanity and the alleged innocent spouse received an ancillary benefit.
Cruel and Barbarous Treatment
An innocent spouse may obtain a divorce on the grounds of cruel and barbarous treatment, where the defendant has endangered the life or health of the filing spouse. A divorce on the grounds of cruel and barbarous treatment may be obtained on the basis of a single, isolated incident if the incident is of sufficient severity. On the other hand, the divorce ground of indignities (discussed hereinbelow), requires a continuing course of conduct.
An innocent and injured spouse may obtain a divorce on the grounds of bigamy where the defendant knowingly entered a bigamous marriage while a former marriage continued. Bigamy may also be a ground for an annulment of a marriage as well.
Conviction of a Crime
Upon a conviction of a crime where the defendant was sentenced to imprisonment for a period of two years or more, the innocent and injured spouse may seek a divorce.
Indignities may consist of vulgarity, unmerited reproach, habitual contumely, neglect, intentional incivility, manifest disdain, abusive language or ridicule and other manifestations of hatred or estrangement. A divorce may be obtained upon a showing that the defendant offered such indignities to the innocent spouse as to render his or her condition intolerable and life burdensome.
Where insanity or serious mental illness has resulted in the confinement of the Defendant in an institution for 18 months prior to filing the Complaint is deemed grounds for a divorce.