1. Will I have to pay support for my child or spouse? Am I entitled to support?
This may depend on a number of factors, including you and your spouse’s income, the number of children you have and your custody arrangements. In Pennsylvania, child support is determined by specific guidelines based on your individual circumstances. Spousal support, if owed, is also subject to a formula. If you would like for me to review your financial circumstances, I can schedule a consultation at which I can give you a rough estimate of your duty of support or the support owed to you, if any.
2. How will my property be divided in divorce?
A court may distribute marital property in divorce in any manner it deems appropriate to effectuate economic justice. A percentage will often be used in the division of property, such as a 40/60 or 50/50 split. Often, spouses will reach their own agreement as to a fair division of marital property. A division of marital property may mean that while one spouse retains certain property, another retains other property of roughly equal value.
3. My spouse and I want a divorce and we agree on everything. Do I need an attorney?
If you are contemplating divorce, I recommend at least consulting with an attorney so that you are aware of your rights. If you have reached an agreement with your spouse, it is a good idea to have that agreement prepared by an attorney to ensure that it addresses all marital rights and that it is legally enforceable. If you have agreed on most or all aspects of your divorce, it is likely your legal fees will be much lower than in a contested matter. Moreover, I offer flat rates for most uncontested matters.
4. How long will it take to get a divorce?
Most divorces in Pennsylvania are based either on mutual consent or on an extended separation. If you and your spouse consent to a divorce, you may ask a court to grant your divorce 90 days after your divorce is served. In such a situation, your divorce may be completed in as little as 4 months. However, if you own marital property or you or your spouse is requesting alimony, it is unlikely your divorce will be completed in this time period. In the alternative, if you and your spouse have been separated for two years or more, you may ask the court to grant your divorce without your spouse’s consent. In such a case, your divorce may be completed in about 3 months. As in a divorce by consent, if either you or your spouse choose to make economic claims, your divorce is likely to take significantly longer.
5. What can I expect in a custody action?
What to expect in your custody action is highly dependent on the rules and practices of your particular county. For example, some counties and some judges may favor awards of shared physical custody. Others may favor an award of primary physical custody to one parent and partial physical custody to the other. In addition, the process by which a custody action progresses and reaches a hearing or trial may differ depending on your county. Often, agreements as to custody are highly encouraged. I can review the circumstances of your custody matter with you, as well as how you can expect your custody action to progress.
6. How much are your services?
Rates for legal services are dependent on the type and complexity of the matter involved. For example, if your case is contested, meaning that you and your spouse are disputing some matters, an hourly rate may be appropriate. Typically, I require a prepayment of legal fees that reflects the complexity of the matter involved. In uncontested or simple matters, a flat fee for all services may be appropriate. You may schedule a consultation or call with specific questions for a full discussion of the rates that may apply in your case.
7. May I meet with you for a consultation to find out whether I need an attorney?
Yes. In fact, I recommend an initial consultation so that I may fully review your matter and determine your legal needs. The more specific information I know about your situation, the better I can advise you as to what to expect and estimate the costs of representation. There is a charge of $50.00 for an initial consultation of up to one hour.
8. Do you offer evening or weekend office hours?
Yes, I can make arrangements to meet with you or discuss your case outside regular business hours if your circumstances require.
9. Do you handle any other types of cases?
From time to time, I handle minor criminal and traffic matters, wills and some civil matters.
Call for your initial consultation today.