Another type of divorce based on the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship is when the party filing for divorce alleges that the parties lived separately and apart for at least a year and the marriage is irretrievably broken. The law governing such divorces based on separation was recently amended in Pennsylvania to reduce the required separation time from two years to one year. If the non-filing party does not deny the allegations, the court may grant a divorce without requiring a hearing. Although the separation-based divorce does not require consent of the second party, the divorce will be more complicated and a hearing may be required if the non-filing party denies the allegations.
A contested divorce is a divorce where the parties cannot agree on all of the divorce terms or do not cooperate with each other at all. A contested divorce may last over a year, and it is a much more involved proceeding in court, requiring multiple court appearances, discovery of documents and information, and possible motion practice. The issues are frequently equitable distribution of the marital property, alimony or spousal support (which is not mandatory in Pennsylvania), child support, child custody and visitation, and responsibility for marital debts.
During a contested divorce, the parties’ income and assets must be evaluated, including real estate, liquid assets, and pension plans, especially if the parties have minor children. In a contested divorce, attorneys for both parties must aggressively pursue their clients’ best interests. At the Law Offices of Leo Mikityanskiy, we promptly and effectively communicate with our clients during the divorce process to represent them most effectively and zealously. Various experts are often required for the property appraisal process, including certified real estate appraisers, accountants and tax professionals, and business evaluators.
Additional issues that may arise in divorces are fault or domestic abuse by one of the spouses, religious marriages that require religious in addition to civil divorces, instances when one of the spouses cannot be located (abandonment), bankruptcies, and domestic partnerships or marriages that are not recognized in every state. The latter also has its own federal and state tax issues. Domestic abuse claims may require emergency petitions or appearances in the Court of Common Pleas Family Division to obtain or defend against a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order. An emergency PFA order may be granted by the Magisterial District Justice if the Court of Common Pleas is closed.
Experienced Bucks County, Pennsylvania attorney
Leonid Mikityanskiy will guide you through your divorce process in Bucks County and Philadelphia County. Recognizing that divorce is one of the most stressful and emotional events in your life, we approach each divorce with compassion and understanding at the Law Offices of Leo Mikityanskiy. We provide divorce representation and counseling, and we support our clients through this difficult, conflicting process, beginning with the discussion of your goals and plans, concerns, and options in divorce. We develop a plan of action during the first meetings with you to discuss your divorce process, to make it as quick and painless as possible. We also ensure that the status quo is maintained during the divorce process: the house mortgage and bills are paid, the children continue to attend their schools and activities without disruptions, and the standard of living is maintained. No two divorces are alike, and your divorce will depend on a number of circumstances, including the duration of the marriage, children, assets and earning capacities of both parties, and many other factors.
It is often possible to settle even a contested divorce without going through a full trial, which is draining on the divorcing parties and expensive. A properly negotiated settlement agreement at any time before or during the divorce process will outline the rights and responsibilities of the divorcing parties with regard to the divorce issues. Such an agreement is usually incorporated into the Divorce Decree (or Decree and Order depending on the county) by the Court of Common Pleas. Divorce attorney Leonid Mikityanskiy will help you resolve the following issues in a divorce:
- Contested and uncontested divorces.
- Equitable Distribution: division of marital property including real estate, business interests, bank accounts, investments, pension plans, jewelry and other assets, including in high-asset or high-income divorces.
- Spousal Support or Alimony.
- Child Custody and Visitation and Child Support.
- Payment of attorneys’ fees by the spouse with most assets or income.
- Prenuptial and Postnuptial agreements signed by the parties.
- Post-divorce modifications and enforcement.
- Grounds for divorce, including mutual consent, irretrievable breakdown (living separate and apart for one or more years, including pursuant to a written agreement of separation), cruel and barbarous treatment, willful and malicious desertion (abandonment), or adultery.
- Protection From Abuse orders and domestic violence.
- Settlement negotiations, mediation, and Collaborative Divorce (the uniform standard of practice for which has been codified into law in Pennsylvania on June 28, 2018: Pennsylvania Collaborative Law Act, H.B. 1644, amending Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes).
- Legal separation and Separation and Settlement Agreements.
- Domestic partnerships and LGBT divorces and issues.
Attorney Leonid Mikityanskiy has successfully litigated, mediated, and settled all kinds of divorce cases. Divorce is a drastic step, and sometimes there is no possibility to preserve the marriage. Divorces are emotional and can be very high-conflict, even over non-consequential issues. At the Law Offices of Leo Mikityanskiy, we can often successfully diffuse the high-stress divorce and negotiate an acceptable compromise of the issues, to settle the litigation or reduce the number of issues being litigated to simplify the divorce.
If you need are looking for an aggressive Bucks County, PA Family Law attorney, please contact the divorce attorney Leonid Mikityanskiy at our Feasterville, PA office at (215) 357-1400.
REQUEST A CONSULTATION
Fill out the form below to schedule a confidential initial consultation