If you are considering filing for divorce, you should always talk to an attorney. There are a few things you can do on your own, but most people are not comfortable filing documents with the court and handling their own divorce lawsuits. Having an experienced Philadelphia divorce attorney on your side can make that process a lot smoother. However, there are still some things you’ll need to plan to start the process of filing for divorce.
If you need a Northeast Philadelphia divorce attorney, call The Sadek and Cooper Law Offices. Our attorneys practice in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties to help people file for divorce, get what they need when it comes time to divide assets, and file for spousal support.
Steps for Divorce in Philadelphia
First, it is important to talk to an attorney. Discussing divorce options with your spouse may be a good idea in some relationships. In others, the first person you may want to consult is an attorney.
If you are considering filing for divorce, the next thing to consider would be what type of divorce you want. If you think your spouse might agree to a divorce, then a “no-fault divorce” might be appropriate. These allow you to turn two years of separation into a full divorce. Alternatively, you can go to court, file, and within approximately 90 days, have your divorce granted if the other party consents to a divorce.
If your spouse doesn’t want a divorce, or has cheated, been abusive, or otherwise ruined the relationship, a “fault divorce” might be appropriate. In these divorces, one party sues the other for divorce. There must be some “grounds for divorce,” based on things like adultery, abuse, or some other harm.
Whichever type of divorce you use, you should also start planning for your financial future after divorce. Start considering what items you and your spouse own or share. Things like bank accounts, houses, or even cell phone plans may need to be divided. Consider how to divide your property. If you have a job, you may need to pay your former spouse alimony after the divorce. Alternatively, if you make less money than your spouse, you might be entitled to alimony – but it may not be permanent. Consider what jobs you might be able to work, whether you need additional training or education, and how you might pay for that.
When you are ready, talk to your attorney about these decisions, filing the paperwork, and starting the divorce process.
Divorcing with Children in Pennsylvania
If you and your spouse have shared children, divorce becomes more complicated. You are no longer considering your own future, but also the future of your children. Once again, if you and your spouse are open to the idea of divorce, you may be able to come to an agreement on many aspects of the divorce, including custody and child support.
Children of divorce typically spend most of the year with one parent, seeing the other on weekends, holidays, and during the summer. If parents live near each other, this may be easier to coordinate. Start thinking about how your child custody plan might work, and what effects this will have on your children’s school, activities, and friendships.
If you cannot agree on custody, be prepared for the court to make its own custody decision. Your attorney can argue that you should take custody, but some of the factors you can help yourself with. Making time to care for your children, planning finances, planning babysitters, and planning a safe home environment are all excellent ways to show the court you are a fit parent.
Once again, finances are important. Courts want parents to have enough money to raise their kids, and might order child support. The parent who has the kids the majority of the time usually receives child support from the other parent. The payor typically makes more money, while the other parent might have more time for child care. Consider how your career and income may affect your free time and your ability to care for your children on your own.
Pennsylvania Divorce Attorneys
Beginning to think about these effects and planning your desired outcomes can help your attorney get you what you want. None of these decisions need to be finalized; your attorney can advise you on many of these decisions and help you decide what you need.
The Pennsylvania family law attorneys at The Law Sadek and Cooper Law Offices help people throughout the Northeast and the greater Philadelphia area file for divorce. If you are considering filing for divorce, talk to an attorney. Our lawyers offer free consultations on new cases to help our clients figure out if divorce is right for them, and how it will work. For your free, confidential consultation, call 215-814-0395 today.