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What Is Marital Property?

One of the most important issues to settle during divorce is the division of property. Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, which means the court divides marital property in a manner it considers fair, though not necessarily equally. But what does the law mean by “marital property”? In any divorce, there are two kinds of… Read More »

Who Gets the House if We Get Divorced?

For most couples, the family home is their most significant investment and most valuable asset. So, when a couple divorces, the house becomes a great bone of contention. But the answer to the question “Who gets the house?” depends on the meaning of the word gets, since it implies two separate rights: ownership and possession…. Read More »

Is Private School Tuition Included in Child Support?

Like all states, Pennsylvania has statutory guidelines for basic child support but also allows judges the latitude to order a noncustodial parent to pay for certain extras. Rule 1910.16-5 of the Pa. Rules of Civil Procedure allows the court to deviate from the support guidelines when considering the following factors: Unusual needs and unusual fixed… Read More »

Should I Sign a Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial agreements long carried the stigma of being unromantic and cynical, because they introduced the subject of divorce before the marriage had even taken place. Prenups were also prone to abuse by spouses who drew them up unilaterally and insisted the other sign or the wedding wouldn’t happen. However, prenups have proved to be very… Read More »

Who Decides How Property Is Divided in a Pennsylvania Divorce?

When divorcing spouses cannot agree on how to divide their marital property themselves, the court will take on that role. Pennsylvania law gives courts the power to divide marital assets and debts in divorce proceedings through a process called equitable distribution. If spouses are unable to come to their own property agreement in a divorce,… Read More »

Do Grandparents Have Custody Rights in Pennsylvania?

Grandparents often fall victim to circumstances within their children’s families that disrupt their relationship with their grandchildren, so they turn to the courts for a legal remedy. Grandparents do not enjoy the same presumptive rights to custody or visitation that parents do, but depending on the facts of the case, they may have statutory rights…. Read More »

How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in Pennsylvania?

There are many factors that determine how long a divorce will take. Some of them are related to the law and court procedures while others arise from the complexities of the case and the attitudes of the parties. These are just some of the many factors that could affect the speed of your divorce: No… Read More »

What Is the Difference Between Physical Custody and Legal Custody in Pennsylvania?

Child custody can be a complex issue, not only because of the emotional ties between parents and their children but also because of the types of rights and responsibilities at stake and the types of custody possible. The discussion starts with understanding how Pennsylvania Code Rule 1915.1 defines the two kinds of custody under the… Read More »

What Is Alimony and How Is It Calculated?

People use the term alimony loosely to refer to maintenance payments an ex-spouse makes to a former spouse. In Pennsylvania, however, there are three such terms for these payments, and each denotes support at a particular time in the process: Spousal support — Amounts paid after the couple agrees to live “separately and apart,” but… Read More »

How Is Child Support Calculated in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania has child support guidelines based on the “income shares” model used in 38 states. This model, which considers the incomes of both parents, was developed under the Child Support Guidelines Project funded by the U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement and administered by the National Center for State Courts.  It is encoded in Rule… Read More »