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Bucks County Divorce Lawyer

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Divorce can be an emotionally, legally, and financially complex process, especially if the divorcing spouses have young children, share considerable debts or assets, or disagree about matters such as alimony, custody, or property division.  If you are going through a divorce in Bucks County, you need dedicated legal support from a skilled, compassionate, and experienced family law attorney who will stand by your side and aggressively protect your rights as a parent, a property owner, or both.

At Sadek & Cooper Law Offices, our Pennsylvania divorce lawyers in Bucks County have extensive experience representing mothers, fathers, business owners, and others in a diverse array of divorce proceedings, including fault divorces, no-fault divorces, contested divorces, and high asset divorces.  As family law lawyers, we are further qualified to assist divorcing spouses with important related matters such as alimony, child custody, child support disputes, and the interpretation of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.  Call Sadek & Cooper Law Offices today at (215) 814-0395 to discuss how we can help you in a free and confidential divorce consultation.

What Are the Grounds for Fault Divorce in Pennsylvania?

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Divorce cases can be categorized in several ways.  For example, an uncontested divorce is a type of divorce in which both parties are in agreement on issues such as child support and alimony.  In Bucks County and throughout Pennsylvania, divorces are also categorized as either fault divorces or no-fault divorces.

These categorizations are important because, depending on the reason or “grounds” for your divorce, you will be subject to different regulations and waiting periods.  For example, if you intend on getting a no-fault divorce, there must be an “irretrievable breakdown,” explained below, of the marriage.  Additionally, the divorcing spouses must either:

  1. Both grant consent to the divorce.
  2. Go through a period of separation lasting one year.  Pennsylvania’s separation period was recently halved from two years to one with the passage of Act 102 in October 2016.

In Bucks County, there are seven grounds for fault divorce:

  1. Adultery
  2. Bigamy
  3. Criminal Convictions
  4. Cruel and Barbarous Treatment
  5. Desertion
  6. Indignities
  7. Mental Illness

Some of these terms are fairly obscure, and their legal meanings may not be immediately clear to you.  For instance, you may be unsure what “indignities” consist of.  We can help you understand the various rules, procedures, definitions, and other legal considerations that are likely to arise in your case.

In contrast to a fault divorce, a no-fault divorce is a divorce which is attributed not to any one of the seven specific issues listed above, but general “estrangement due to marital difficulties with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.”  In Pennsylvania, this is the legal definition of “irretrievable breakdown,” or, as many people call it, irreconcilable differences, provided by 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3103.

What is the Legal Process for Getting Divorced in Bucks County?

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The following is an oversimplification but will help to give you a clearer idea of the general divorce process in Pennsylvania.  We will be able to discuss the process in greater detail, as it pertains specifically to your case, when you contact Sadek & Cooper Law Offices for your free legal consultation.

  1. You or your spouse must meet Pennsylvania’s divorce residency requirements.
  2. One spouse files a complaint for divorce, at which point the grounds for divorce also need to be identified.
  3. The grounds for divorce must be granted.
  4. If the spouses are unable to agree on key matters like child custody or the division of property, it will become necessary to conduct various hearings and meetings to settle any unresolved or disputed issues.

Depending on the circumstances, the courts may require you to undergo counseling or mediation as part of the divorce process.

Bucks County Divorce Attorneys Serving Levittown, Croydon, Bristol, Quakertown

At Sadek & Cooper Law Offices, we know that divorce is a deeply personal issue which can be very painful and upsetting for the parties involved.  We strive to make the process as simple, easy, and stress-free as possible for our clients, and will treat your case with the care, sensitivity, and professionalism you deserve.

Our divorce attorneys are here to provide comprehensive, dedicated support, which means answering your questions, representing you at hearings, handling your legal documentation, fighting to protect your best interests, and counseling you with clear and honest information about your rights, responsibilities, and the potential outcomes of various actions.  No matter how complex the legal factors may be, you can feel confident that when you are represented by Sadek & Cooper Law Offices, our attorneys will work diligently toward a favorable resolution of your divorce case.

Our family law attorneys handle divorce cases arising in all corners of Bucks County, including Bristol, Croydon, Doylestown, Fairless Hills, Levittown, Morrisville, Perkasie, Quakertown, Richboro, Sellersville, Yardley, and beyond.  If you have been served with divorce papers, or are thinking about filing for divorce in Bucks County, call Sadek & Cooper Law Offices at (215) 814-0395 for a free legal consultation.

4 Steps to Take Immediately After Getting Served With Divorce Papers

Maybe you knew it was coming. Maybe it was a total shock. But you’ve now been served with the Summons and Complaint that starts the divorce process.

 
What you do within the next several days will make a huge impact on your divorce case.
 

1. Take a deep breath.

 
Getting served with divorce papers can be a devastating experience. Your emotions could range from shock, to resignation, to anger.
 
But you’re going to need a clear head for what’s ahead.
 
So take steps to get as clear and as focused as you can. Even if that means exercising some self-care or seeing a therapist. You don’t have a lot of time to respond (see below), but you can take an hour or two at least.
 
While you’re doing that, talk yourself out of making any drastic moves. Now is not the time to move out of the marital home, for example. A legal process has started, but you don’t have to give up anything yet, and should not.
 
 

2. Organize documents and paperwork.

 
You need to make sure you have copies of all the records which will become important during your divorce case.
 
This includes information on all your bank accounts, insurance policies, retirement accounts, investment accounts, stocks, bonds, real property, and assets like cars or trucks. You need statements from accounts both in your name and in your spouse’s name, as well as joint accounts.
 
Fidelity Investments has a very nice checklist that you can print out and use.
 
If you have children, school records and medical records could become important.
 
Get at least three months of statements, where applicable. Put it all into one large binder or file box. You’ll save some time, money, and headache by taking the time to get organized. And you need to do it now, just in case your spouse tries to keep these records out of your hands. Otherwise you’ll spend more going through the discovery process later.
 
 

3. Take steps to protect yourself financially.

 
If you have a job, open your own bank account and begin sending your paychecks there. If you don’t have a job, consult with your lawyer about how much you can safely withdraw from the joint account. Then, set up your own.
 
Cancel any joint credit cards to stop the accumulation of marital debt.
 
Talk to your lawyer about other steps you should take.
 
 

4. Find a lawyer immediately.

 
You have just 30 days to answer the Summons and Complaint that kicks off your divorce. If you don’t, you could lose your right to contest whatever divorce settlement your ex cooks up.
 
And even if it seems good to you on paper, it’s a good idea to ask a family lawyer to look over it to make sure it’s really fair and in keeping with Pennsylvania family law. You don’t have to fight every single point, but you want to make sure you’re not giving up important rights.
 
 
Are you facing a divorce? Don’t do it alone. Call for a free consultation today.
 

 

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