Family Law Attorney in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

Family Law Matters in Pennsylvania

Family law matters are as unique and complicated as the parties involved. The struggles faced by those involved in family law cases differ from any other area of law because they are incredibly personal. Kelly Adams understands the unique emotional impact of family law matters and ensures her client’s feelings are not dismissed during these complicated proceedings.

Family law often involves the most sensitive area of your life. The outcome of your case can affect not only your life but the lives of your children; nobody wants a judge to decide how much time they get to spend with their kids. It’s not uncommon to see parties involved in family law fights using their intimate knowledge of the other party to bully or torment them. Attorney Adams recognizes these abusive tactics and knows how to fight back.

No-Fault Divorces in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania grants both at-fault and no-fault divorces. In general, no-fault divorces are less complicated because proving a spouse was at fault isn’t necessary. Filing for a no-fault divorce is often preferable, even if one spouse is technically guilty of fault.

Filing for a no-fault divorce will allow you to avoid the humiliation and stress of proving the other spouse engaged in marital misconduct. This type of divorce falls into two categories: “mutual consent” or “irretrievable breakdown.”

Mutual Consent

A mutual consent divorce requires the most cooperation between spouses, but it is the fastest type of no-fault divorce. When filing a mutual consent divorce, both spouses must sign an affidavit consenting to the divorce. These divorces require a 90-day waiting period after the divorce is filed.

Irretrievable Breakdown

Divorces based on the grounds of the marriage being irretrievably broken do not require the other spouse’s consent, but the couple must have lived separately and apart for a year before filing. Separate and apart doesn’t always mean living in different residences, but it can be harder to prove if you don’t.

At-Fault Divorces in Pennsylvania

In some cases, an at-fault divorce is appropriate. There is no waiting period for an at-fault divorce, which can be essential in cases of abuse or domestic violence. It’s worth noting that the court considers misconduct when making alimony awards and ordering custody schedules, sometimes favoring the injured spouse.

Child Custody

Child custody can be established as part of a divorce or as a separate case. These legal matters can be highly stressful for parents if they cannot agree on a parenting schedule. If parents disagree on the best custody arrangement, the court will establish a custody order that it decides is in the child’s best interest.

What you consider to be in your child’s best interest and what the court decides is in their best interest may be very different. Attorney Adams can help you fight for the custody arrangement you believe is in your child’s best interest. Properly presenting the relevant legal factors of your situation can help you achieve the best possible outcome.

Establishing Custody

When establishing a parenting plan, the court will try to prevent disruption to the child’s life by ordering a parenting plan similar to the status quo. Whoever has been the child’s primary caretaker before the custody order will most likely continue being the primary custodian. A parenting plan can also guide decision-making, transportation, holiday arrangements, and contacting the child when they are not with you.

Modifying Custody

Once a custody order has been established, it can be hard to change unless you and the other parent agree. You will need to prove that changing the plan is in the child’s best interest or that a substantial change of circumstances necessitates the change.

Establishing or Modifying Child Support

In Pennsylvania, child support is calculated using both parents’ net income. Determining a parent’s net income for the purposes of child support is not always straightforward and may look different from the number on your tax return.

Depending on their circumstances, some parents will also qualify for upward or downward deviations from the standard child support calculation. For example, you might be able to reduce your support obligation if you also pay child support for other children. Working with an experienced attorney like Kelly Adams can ensure child support is calculated correctly and the amount ordered accurately reflects your entire financial situation.

Consult with a Pennsylvania Family Law Attorney

Whether you are just getting started on your divorce or you need to modify an outdated parenting plan or child support order, Attorney Kelly Adams can offer you the advice and guidance you need.

Attorney Adams is dedicated to fighting for her family law clients and their children. If you need a divorce or to get help with your child support or custody order, contact Kelly Adams to schedule a consultation.