What Is A Pennsylvania Family Law Attorney?
A family law attorney may provide representation in a large variety of matters. Representation can involve divorce, equitable distribution of property, child custody and child support issues. It may also involve paternity, spousal support, alimony, alimony pendente lite and protection from abuse. In certain instances, family law can concern juvenile dependency and delinquency, stepparent adoption and other related issues. All Pennsylvania licensed attorneys can accept family law cases; however, not every attorney has the same level of experience in handling family law matters. For many attorneys, family law cases comprise only a portion of the cases they accept. Our office is different in that the only type of cases we accept are family law cases. We try cases in Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware, Philadelphia and Berks counties.
Do I Need To Hire A Lawyer?
If any type of family law action is filed with the Pennsylvania courts and a conference, hearing, motion or another action is scheduled, you should retain a family law attorney to protect your legal interests. If you or the other side is considering whether or not to begin a family law case, our law office suggests that you schedule a consultation. We can review with you the specific aspects of your situation and advise you on your best interests. Such aspects include whether or not to proceed with a legal action be it divorce, support, child custody or any combination of the three.
Our office represents individuals in divorce, equitable distribution, child custody, child and spousal support, alimony, paternity, protection from abuse, juvenile law, adoption and related family law matters.
Can Both Parties Use The Same Lawyer In A Pennsylvania Family Court Matter?
No. A Pennsylvania family law and divorce attorneys can represent only one party or spouse in a contested family law or divorce case. Sometimes, the parties decide that only one of them will retain an attorney. In this situation, the Pennsylvania family law lawyer prepares any paperwork or agreements on behalf of the client who hired the lawyer and only advises the client that has retained the attorney’s services. The lawyer’s client is the only party represented in this situation.
What Should Someone Do Before Separating From A Spouse/The Other Parent Of Their Children?
Before any separation, a party should obtain and copy the documents referred to in the How To Help Us Help You section and consult with an attorney. A separation can significantly impact child custody, spousal support, child support and other family law matters.
What Should I Do If Served With A Divorce Complaint?
Generally, service of a divorce complaint occurs through certified mail. If served with a Pennsylvania Divorce Complaint, you should immediately contact a family law or divorce attorney. If you do not respond to the Pennsylvania Divorce Complaint, a Divorce decree may be entered even without your consent and your legal rights, including the right to support or division of marital assets and debts, may be waived.
Support complaints can be filed by your attorney or by going to your local Pennsylvania county court. If the defendant does not live in the same state or county as the plaintiff, the plaintiff can choose to file a support complaint in the county where he or she resides and have the action processed between the two county courts. Otherwise, they can choose to file the support complaint in the county where the defendant resides, is employed, or can be personally served. Once filing of the complaint takes place, each county has its own set of procedural rules that the parties must follow.
What Does The Term “Equitable Distribution” Mean?
Equitable distribution is the legal term for the division of marital assets and marital debts as part of a Pennsylvania divorce action. In Pennsylvania, marital assets and debts are those assets or debts acquired from the date of marriage to the date of separation except those assets and debts that are excluded by a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement or because they were acquired as a gift from someone other than the spouse or through inheritance. Additionally, a marital asset includes the appreciation of a premarital asset through the length of the marriage.
To schedule a consultation, contact us at Randi J. Vladimer, P.C., by calling 610-975-9898. Our law firm conducts appointments in our Radnor office. However, in some circumstances, telephone appointments and other off-site meeting places may be available.