Most people in Philadelphia have heard the oft-cited statistic that about half of all marriages end in divorce. Divorce is something that can happen in the first years of a marriage or it can happen after many years. Whether it's infidelity, simply growing apart or something else, many people choose to end their marriages.
When a Pennsylvania couple decides to divorce, they are frequently unaware of the options available to end their marriage. In this state, there are two types of divorce: a no-fault divorce or a fault divorce. In general, people who are seeking to end the marriage as quickly and as free of legal issues as possible will use a no-fault divorce. However, there are times when a fault divorce is the strategy to take.
Divorce is a difficult situation in many aspects and one issue that is often in dispute is property division. Philadelphia couples who are ending their marriage should understand what constitutes marital property and how that property will be divided. This issue is significant and should not be taken for granted.
Divorce is a difficult process for people of any age in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania, but certain age groups might have a greater amount of struggle to get through it than others. One age group that could experience a wide range of emotions and have trouble adapting is those 50 and older. Statistics are showing that people in this age range are moving forward with the end of a marriage twice as frequently as they did during the 1990s.
Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state. During divorce proceedings, property division should be made in fair, but not necessarily absolutely equivalent, percentages.
The final divorce decree helps spouses by requiring the other spouse to pay for alimony and child support. However, a spouse's expenses are not delayed or placed on hold during the divorce negotiations or court proceedings. This could weaken the economically disadvantaged spouse's ability to engage in litigation or settlement negotiations because they may be forced to agree to an expedited conclusion or settlement, as they cannot afford to continue.
Pennsylvania courts must decide many property and child custody issues during divorce. One particularly sensitive issue that affects emotions is custody or, more accurately, ownership of the family pet.
The legal termination of a marriage in Pennsylvania is not limited to divorce. A court can also rule that a marriage is invalid. An annulment is granted where a marriage did not legally exist at inception, and courts look at several factors to determine a marriage's validity.
Same-sex marriage and civil unions have brought changes to the traditional marriage and have presented new family law and divorce legal issues for Pennsylvania courts. Recently, the Superior Court ruled that women who entered a civil union in Vermont in 2002 could obtain a Pennsylvania divorce in 2016, although this state did not recognize same-sex marriages 15-years ago.
A stressful holiday season, dealing with disliked in-laws and being cooped-up with children and visiting relatives compel married couples to make a new start and resolve the end of a marriage in the New Year. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that there is a 25 to 30 percent increase in divorce filings in January every year.