Chester County Divorce Attorneys
Compassionate Guidance Through Every Step in Your Case
Divorce can be difficult and emotional for all parties involved. Several matters must be settled that can significantly affect your family and future. Because of this, the experience can be hard for you to handle on your own. The stresses of the situation can make it challenging to fully understand your rights and how to protect them and ensure that key issues are resolved fairly. Fortunately, you do not have to go through the process on your own. A family law attorney can provide the guidance you need at each stage and work to safeguard your best interests.
If you or your spouse has filed for a divorce in Chester County, reach out to Testa & Pagnanelli, LLC. Our attorneys deliver compassionate representation to clients going through one of the most difficult periods of their lives. When you choose us, we will listen to your wants and needs and develop a legal strategy to seek a favorable result on your behalf. Recognizing the emotional toll of these proceedings, we pursue amicable resolutions outside the courtroom. However, we know that negotiations cannot settle all matters positively. That is why we are prepared for litigation.
Speak with one of our Chester County divorce lawyers by calling us at (610) 365-4733 or contacting us online today.
What Is the Process for Getting a Divorce in Pennsylvania?
Before you or your spouse file for a divorce, you must ensure that you meet the residency requirement. Either of you must have been a resident of the state for at least 6 months before initiating the divorce action. If neither of you has lived here that long, the court will not have jurisdiction over your case and would be unable to grant your request.
To begin the divorce proceedings, you or your spouse must file a complaint with the court. The document is your official request to have the court dissolve your marriage.
Your complaint must state the reason you are asking for a divorce. There are several fault-based and no-fault grounds allowed in Pennsylvania.
With fault-based grounds for a divorce, you state that your spouse did something to cause the breakdown of your marriage.
These claims can include:
- Willful and malicious desertion for at least 1 year
- Cruel and barbarous treatment
- Imprisonment for 2 or more years
- Creation of hostile and intolerable living conditions
Generally, individuals file for divorces based on fault when the other spouse opposes the divorce, the couple hasn’t been living separately for at least 1 year, and the filing spouse doesn’t want to wait 1 year to file.
With no-fault grounds, neither spouse has to prove that misconduct led to the divorce. You can base your divorce on mutual consent. This is where you state that your marriage is irretrievably broken and you and your spouse both agree to the divorce.
You can also file for a divorce by stating that your marriage is irretrievably broken, and you and your spouse have been living separate and apart for at least 1 year. You don’t necessarily have to have been residing in different households. You could be living together but have essentially two separate lives. The court can grant your divorce even if your spouse opposes it, provided the court finds that your situation meets the legal requirements.
How Are Matters Settled in a Divorce?
Several issues must be resolved in your divorce. You and your spouse can work together to develop agreements on how they are settled. If you and your spouse are having trouble coming up with solutions on your own, you can go through divorce mediation for assistance. With mediation, an impartial third party (called a mediator) guides discussions between you and your spouse to facilitate more effective talks. The mediator does not decide on anything for you; they help you work through your differences to make decisions together.
If you and your spouse are unable to settle disputes on your own or with the help of a mediator, the court would determine how to resolve things.
At Testa & Pagnanelli, LLC, our Chester County divorce attorneys can pursue just outcomes in matters concerning:
- Asset division,
- Spousal support,
- Child custody, and
- Child support.
We can serve as a mediator in your case. We can also provide individual legal representation and negotiate with your spouse or their counsel to find amicable solutions. If resolutions can’t be reached outside of the courtroom, we can represent your interests at trial.
Get the Legal Counsel You Need
There are several steps involved in a divorce and many things to consider. Our lawyers help navigate the process and assist our clients in making informed and confident decisions in their cases.
Request an appointment with a member of our team by contacting us at (610) 365-4733.
Efficiency You Deserve
Our firm will work to help you reach the next chapter quickly, efficiently, and without wasting your time and resources.
Focused Exclusively on Family Law & Criminal Defense
Don't leave the most important part of your life to chance, our team is highly experienced and solely focused on handling family law & criminal defense matters.
Well-Respected in the Legal Community
Our attorneys have an impeccable reputation within the legal community and are highly regarded in their field.
Over 45 Years of Collective Experience
Between our attorneys, we have over 45 years of collective experience in ensuring your legal rights are advocated for.