Stat. In Pennsylvania, any debts acquired during a marriage are the responsibility of both parties, even if it is only one party that was responsible for accruing the debt. A marriage can end either by annulment or by divorce in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is a bit unique when it comes to divorce in that it allows for both “fault” divorces and “no-fault” divorces. The parenting plan should be spell out specific agreements as to where the child will reside and on what days, including weekends and holidays. DIVORCE IN PHILADELPHIA COUNTY Sponsored by the Family Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association Page 1, January 2020 Do you want to file for divorce? Alimony is also a common area of friction during a divorce and it can be a costly … When it comes to family law and divorce, Pennsylvania is quite a unique commonwealth. A judge may choose to grant joint physical custody in which case the child will live with each parent an equal amount of time. see pages 10-12. if your spouse does not consent to the divorce… the contribution of a spouse as homemaker; whether the party seeking alimony lacks sufficient property; and. Substance abuse can also have an impact on a division of assets in Pennsylvania. Read the full disclosure in our terms of service. WomensLaw.org is unrelated to the above organizations and cannot vouch for the accuracy of their sites. The short answer is, no. In Pennsylvania, there are 3 types of divorce: Mutual consent; Based on 2-year separation; Fault divorce, where one of the spouses is at fault. Property acquired from the appreciation of a separate property, unless it can be shown that the other spouse contributed to the appreciation of that separate property. Here are some of the important legal questions and major issues you should know about that come up during a divorce in Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania is an equitable division state. Additionally, the party must file for the divorce in the county where either spouse lives… Jason is the managing partner of Divorce Capital Planning, co-founder of Divorce Mortgage Advisors, and founder of Survive Divorce. Abandonment (your spouse has left the home) without a reasonable cause for a period of one or more years; Adultery (your spouse has “cheated” on you); Cruel and barbarous treatment (your spouse has treated you in a way that puts your life or health at risk, such as acts of domestic violence; Bigamy (your spouse married you without divorcing his/her first spouse); Your spouse has acted in a way that made your life unbearable or extremely difficult. Courts require that a financial disclosure statement must be updated if there is a significant change in either debts or assets from the original document filed with the court. $50,000 x 40% = $20,000. When a spouse does not sign divorce forms or fails to provide information when requests for documentation are made, the other spouse can seek a default divorce. Read: A Guide to Health Insurance During and After Divorce. However, separate ownership of inherited property can be invalidated if the person who inherited the asset commingles it with marital assets. Domestic violence can include any physical abuse, emotional abuse, stalking, or any other kind of harassment including those made through phone calls, mail, or social media inflicted on one spouse by the other. If the spouse seeking support is at fault in the marriage and the divorce is filed as a fault-based proceeding, the judge may modify or deny alimony, depending on the circumstances. If you have additional questions about divorce and adultery in Pennsylvania, you should contact a local experienced family law attorney. Survive Divorce does not provide legal, financial, investment, or tax advice. Any family history of drug abuse, domestic violence or other negatives by one parent or the other. This amount is then divided between parents according to their income. For example, if one spouse makes $100,000 a year and the other spouse makes $50,000 and requests alimony, then the guidelines would work like this: $100,000 – $50,000 = $50,000. It does not affect things such as child custody, visitation, child support, alimony or other contentious issues that may have stalled or become major sticking points that are keeping the divorce from being finalized. The state uses official Pennsylvania Child Support guidelines to determine the specific amount of child support that should be awarded. However, if the spouse receiving alimony re-marries, the alimony payments will end.4, 1 23 Pa. C.S.A. To watch brief videos about divorce in Spanish with English sub-titles, go to our Videos page. Fourth, if your spouse disagrees with anything in the divorce papers, he will have the opportunity to file papers telling his side. Alimony ends when the spouse collecting spousal support gets remarried. I get all of the assets and lifetime alimony, right? While divorce laws vary by state, here are the basic steps: We hope the following links to outside sources may be useful. You can as the court for a civil order of protection to legally keep a spouse away from you either before a divorce action begins or during a divorce already in progress. Fault-based grounds for divorce In Pennsylvania, all property and all debt accumulated during the marriage belongs to both spouses. The person who is asking for the divorce (the plaintiff) files a complaint that … Unlike community property states where all marital property is divided equally, in Pennsylvania assets are divided in a fair and equitable manner, which may not be exactly 50-50. In Pennsylvania, financial disclosures are made at the beginning of a divorce proceeding. Ann. Seeking a bifurcated divorce allows the spouses to move more quickly in starting to rebuild their lives and encourages more movement toward settling outstanding issues. Law enforcement has strong safeguards against domestic violence and when it is present in a marriage, the first goal is for a spouse to take steps to make sure they are safe above all else. The calculator on this website uses the unique formula of Pennsylvania, but your actual amount of spousal support in PA may change. Bifurcation means that both parties in a divorce can legally declared as a single person while some issues in their divorce are still being worked out. Some of these factors will include: Pennsylvania recognizes legal custody and physical custody and uses the term “shared custody” instead of joint custody when making sure that the child has ongoing and frequent contact with both parents unless extenuating circumstances are present. Pennsylvania is both a no-fault and a fault-based state. In addition to Pennsylvania property division laws, the federal government also protects military personnel through the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act that governs how military benefits are calculated when a divorce takes place. Each spouse gets to keep his or her own separate property which includes: But there are exceptions when it comes to separate property. § 3701(a)2 23 Pa. C.S.A. Judges will exercise discretion in determining the length of alimony payments. When the divorce is final, if a spouse has chosen this route, they are individually responsible for making sure payments are made to comply with the court order. If your spouse does not disagree with anything, he should sign the papers and send them back to you and/or the court. This means the first thing a spouse must do is leave the residence where the abuser is living and if the threat is imminent, call the police. Second, you must have “grounds” (a legally acceptable reason) to end your marriage. No-Fault Divorce in PA (2020 Updated Guide for You) What is a no-fault divorce? We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender. Current Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure require a period of separation prior to proceeding with a non-consent divorce … Federal laws will not allow a military members retirement to be distributed to a spouse unless the couple has been married for 10 years or more while the service member was on active duty. The personal desires of the child regarding living arrangements. Pennsylvania follows the principle of equitable distribution, which means marital property is divided between the two parties according to what is deemed fair, or equitable, … The requesting spouse would receive $20,000 annually in spousal support under this scenario. The following formula is used for spousal support in PA… 140. If … 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1102, 1201—1208 and 1602) and 45 Pa.C.S. The Pennsylvania Bar Association has a brochure on divorce and separation, which also includes information on annulment. unusual needs and unusual fixed obligations; other support obligations of the parties; the relative assets and liabilities of the parties; medical expenses not covered by insurance; standard of living of the parties and their children; in a spousal support or alimony pendente lite case, the duration of the marriage from the date of marriage to the date of final separation; and. To make sure the gift does not fall under the rules of equitable distribution, it is important to make sure the gift is not commingled with marital assets. Providing false information could lead to contempt of court charges that might result in monetary sanctions or penalties in the distribution of assets. Lastly, learn more about the court process on our Preparing for Court – By Yourself page. A spouse must show cause why they should receive alimony, making a factual case for a specific amount and duration. the earning potential and earning capacities of the parties; the ages and health condition of the parties; the expectancies and inheritances of the parties; the contribution by one party to the earning capacity of the other; the extent to which the earning power, expenses or financial obligations of a party will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of a minor child; the standard of living of the parties established while married; the relative education of the parties and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking alimony to find appropriate employment; the relative assets and liabilities of the parties. To file for divorce in Pennsylvania, one of the two spouses must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing. Also, if there is a significant change in either spouse’s circumstances, the amount of alimony may be revisited. Copyright © 2021 Survive Divorce. NNEDV is a 501©(3) non-profit organization; EIN 52-1973408. A divorce proceeding may be postponed for the entire the time active duty member is serving and for up to 60 days following discharge, which is typically the case when a service member is deployed in a war. If neither spouse has coverage, then the court may require the primary custodial parent to provide coverage by applying for government-sponsored coverage. If it can be shown that a spouse spent considerable marital assets to feed their habit, a judge may be inclined to award the other spouse more assets to make up for the difference. Sole custody is only awarded when it is clearly in the best interests of the child. There are several rules and guiding principles governing the division of assets that can impact a court’s decision to approve a settlement. Pennsylvania Divorce Waiting Period. What is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst? Child support ends when a child graduates from high school or turns 18 years old, whichever takes place later. The answer is that, while adultery can be relevant, it often has little impact on a divorce in Pennsylvania. Depending on the particular circumstances of a divorce, alimony may be ordered for varying amounts of time. Pennsylvania uses guidelines to begin the process of determining alimony, but several factors could cause the amount to either go up or down. You can either end a marriage through mutual consent because it is irretrievably broken, or you can cite more specific faults for seeking a divorce. (and why you need one), How to Protect and Rebuild Your Credit in a Divorce, How to Value the House and Split Home Equity in a Divorce, We use cookies to provide you with the best experience and for our, A Guide to Health Insurance During and After Divorce, 37 ½ (Not So) Obvious Signs Your Wife is Cheating on You, The Ultimate Guide to Divorcing a Narcissist, 24 Essential Rules for Dating After Divorce, Co-Parenting with a Narcissist: The Do’s and Don’ts, 38 Telltale Signs Your Husband is Cheating on You, The Ultimate Divorce Checklist: The Information You Need to Prepare for Divorce, 29 Warning Signs That Your Marriage is in Trouble. Third, you must file divorce papers and have copies sent to your spouse. Pennsylvania is unique in that the law permits judges to award two kinds of support before finalizing the divorce: spousal support and alimony pendente lite. As part of a settlement, a judge may order one spouse to pay for the other’s health insurance. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided). The same holds true if you inherit a house and both spouses end up living in it. This may be the case if a spouse has a large increase in income, or if they lose their job. Pennsylvania laws state that property inherited by one spouse during a marriage is separate and not subject to marital property rules. $76,000 x 30% = $22,800. The child support amount is subtracted from the difference in income and then multiplied by 30%. In Pennsylvania, you have the option of filing for a no-fault divorce or a fault-based divorce by proving one of the following grounds (reasons).Fault-based grounds for divorce The judge may grant a divorce … … The grounds for a military divorce are the same as they are for a civilian divorce. This is sometimes done to gain more favorable terms during a settlement. This establishes that a spouse can be considered an alternate payee, and the retirement vehicle is then divided according to the specifics contained in the QDRO. The Divorce Code in Pennsylvania was amended in 2005 and now allows divorce … Pennsylvania's divorce laws require that at least one party be a resident for at least six months before filing and there's no waiting period before a divorce is finalized. Chapters 5, 7 and 9, known as the Commonwealth Documents Law … Couples thinking of separating permanently or temporarily in Pennsylvania should be aware of the following: Pennsylvania state divorce laws To file for divorce in Pennsylvania, one or … A court will not allow a parent to take custody of a child if there is a danger to the child, as there would be with drug or alcohol abuse being present. Both parents may be held accountable for paying child support since the amount is based on the combined income of both parents. You should speak to a. You will find more information about divorce, including the risks of taking your children … Laws current as of February 5, 2020 Below you will find basic information about divorce laws in Pennsylvania. The simple fact is that a child’s age has very little to do with it and Pennsylvania law does not recognize any particular age as allowing a child to automatically decide. The mental and physical health and well-being of the parents and the child. While most attorneys are able to draft a QDROs themselves, it is usually faster and less expensive to get it done online. When adultery is cited as a reason for a divorce, it may be used as a means of getting a more favorable settlement from the courts, especially if it can be shown that the adulterer spent marital assets on the affair in question. The Commonwealth is an equitable distribution state, meaning the courts will attempt to distribute marital assets in a fair and equitable way, but this does not necessarily mean that the split will be 50-50. Fifth, if there is property that you need divided, or if you need financial support from your spouse, you will have to work that out in an out-of-court settlement, or in a series of court hearings. In Pennsylvania, you have the option of filing for a no-fault divorce or a fault-based divorce by proving one of the following grounds (reasons). Like the majority of states, Pennsylvania is an equitable … However, you can also file for divorce stating reasons for the divorce. Please use the … The Four Types of Divorce in PA. Divorcing Pennsylvania couples can generally take one of four approaches: Mutual consent divorce: Both spouses agree to the divorce, and each signs an affidavit saying the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” No-fault divorce: One spouse may file for divorce after a period of separation (see below). Adultery is one of the reasons that can be cited in a fault-based divorce in Pennsylvania. What are the grounds for divorce in Pennsylvania? In cases where both parties do not consent to bifurcation, a court may still enter a divorce decree or annulment if there are compelling circumstances or that grounds for divorce have been sufficiently established. Once this is done, make an appointment for a default hearing. You can also apply for COBRA benefits which is a law that protects people from losing health coverage during major life transitions. QDRO Counsel is the #1 brand in online QDRO drafting, and are our top choice for this service because of their various options for different situations/budgets. Normal Pennsylvania child support guidelines are used to determine the appropriate amount of child support that should be paid. One of the keys in a divorce is making sure that all assets are documented and accounted for by both spouses. Where substance abuse carries more weight is in discussions regarding child custody. She/he doesn’t get custody of the kids, right? My ex wife and I filed our taxes jointly in 2019 despite going through an amicable divorce that was effective 01/14/2020. In cases where a home was bought before two people married, if both people live in the home during the marriage and both contribute to mortgage payments, then the case can be made that the house is no longer separate property, but community property instead. The cost to provide health insurance for children is generally divided between spouses in proportion to their net incomes. The requesting spouse would receive $22,800 in spousal support. § 3301(b)-(e), In Pennsylvania, a judge may find that one spouse will have to pay money to the other after a divorce, which is referred to as alimony. For example, if child support amounted to $24,000 a year, then alimony would work like this: $100,000 – $24,000 = $76,000. Physical custody defines which parent the child lives with. Pennsylvania divorce laws concerning separation prior to divorce changed recently. Alimony will vary from case to case based on individual situations. For example, if one spouse receives a large cash amount as a gift, they must make sure that it is placed in a separate account or otherwise kept apart from marital assets. This website is funded in part through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. It meets one of the six standards that must be cited in a fault-based divorce. This means in most all cases that the coverage that was in place at the time of separation must be maintained while a divorce is pending. whether the party seeking alimony is incapable of self-support through appropriate employment. Spousal support … Survive Divorce is reader-supported. the age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties; the contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party; the opportunity of each party for future acquisitions of capital assets and income; the sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits; the contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of a party as homemaker. Citing domestic violence as a reason for divorce will also have additional impacts when it comes to the issue of child custody. Child support and spousal support are determined by state guidelines, but federal law dictates that child and spousal support awards may not exceed 60% of a servicemembers pay and allowances if they are single. if your spouse consents to the divorce, follow the steps for a 3301(c)(1) divorce on pages 5 - 9. if your spouse has been convicted of committing a “personal injury crime” against you, you may proceed under section 3301 (c) (2) of the divorce code. The state uses an Income Shares Model to determine how much a noncustodial parent should pay. By claiming the following reasons for divorce, you are claiming that the divorce is not your spouse’s fault: 1 23 Pa.C.S.A. Does Pennsylvania grant divorces based on marital fault? Where can I find additional information about divorce? In Pennsylvania, one or both parents must provide medical insurance coverage for the children when custody is shared and both parents have insurance. However, this plan must take into account the child’s well-being as a primary concern and courts will base their final custody judgment based on the best interests of the child. Pa. R.C.P. Fault divorce… It is also known as residential custody and dictates who is responsible for the day-to-day physical care and supervision of a child. All Rights Reserved. This is completely counter to the overriding concern of putting the best interests of children first when it comes to divorce and custody issues. However, only the portion that was acquired during the marriage is subject to marital property rules. The QDRO must be approved by the courts and then it can be submitted to the plan administrator who must also approve it. A spouse will have 20 days from the date they are served to file an objection or a response to the contents of an original divorce complaint. One other way to protect an inheritance is to have your spouse sign a postnuptial agreement whereby he or she agrees that the inheritance is yours, no matter how it is used in the marriage. This is called an “uncontested divorce.” If a certain period of time passes and your spouse does not sign the papers or file any papers of his/her own, you may be able to proceed with the divorce as an uncontested divorce anyway. This is called “contesting the divorce.” In this case, you will have to attend a series of court appearances to sort the issues out. Any property that is considered separate property is not divided during a divorce. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Financial Planner practitioner, and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. Under most circumstances in Pennsylvania, one spouse may not remove the other from their healthcare while a divorce is pending. Domestic litigation and Pennsylvania divorce laws are rife with legal nuances that, if unknown or not understood, could put a non-attorney at a disadvantage when handling their own case. In support cases where health insurance is available to both a husband and wife through their employment, the court will require one of them to provide health insurance for the children. 6848 (November 28, 2020).. Under the PA no-fault divorce statute, in order to establish grounds for a divorce, one does not need to show fault which caused a divorce to be filed, such as adultery, mental cruelty or physical abuse. Pa. R.C.P. The ability of each parent to tend to the well-being of the child. Here’s how we make money. This will provide an estimated amount, but courts will also consider deviation factors before setting a final amount. If one spouse removes the other they can be ordered to reinstate the spouse and could be held liable for any medical expenses incurred as a result in the gap in coverage. If you are concerned about commingling assets, you should do whatever you can to make sure you document and take action to keep an inherited asset separate. If the spouse does not respond within that timeframe, the court will consider that person to be in default. You can use the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Child Support Estimator as a starting point to see how much you may be required to pay. © 2008–2020 WomensLaw.org is a project of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Inc. All rights reserved. Pennsylvania is both a no-fault and a fault-based state. Pennsylvania does not automatically split marital assets down the middle. Courts may enter a decree of divorce or annulment before certain matters have been resolved, such as custody issues, property rights and interests, child support, alimony, attorney fees, and other costs and expenses. 440 states the options for service of legal papers other than original process. Legal custody means that both parents have rights to make important decisions that affect their child, including things such as healthcare, education and religious considerations. We provide these links for your information only. You and/or your spouse must have lived in Pennsylvania for at least six months immediately prior to filing for divorce.1. the standard of living of the parties established during the marriage. The Pennsylvania court system has a strong preference in seeing parents share custody as equally as possible in a divorce case. Legally splitting pensions and other retirement funds is a multiple step process. § 3701(c)4 23 Pa. C.S.A. Whether the party seeking alimony cannot self-support through employment. Below you will find basic information about divorce laws in Pennsylvania. Some links may be from our sponsors. Pennsylvania is both a no-fault state and a fault-based state, and you only need to state that a marriage is irretrievably broken to file for divorce. Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. The Pennsylvania Bulletin website includes the following: Rulemakings by State … In cases such as this, it is important to document substance abuse as soon as you become aware that it may be a factor in a divorce action. Why they should receive alimony, but several factors could cause the amount is based the. Most attorneys are able to draft a QDROs themselves, it often has little impact on a divorce debt... Stating reasons for the children when custody is shared and both parents must provide medical insurance coverage the... Varying amounts of time active duty Guide for you ) what is a no-fault and a fault-based state required provide... Of divorce Mortgage Advisors, and social activities lived in Pennsylvania, all property and all accumulated... Strategist, personal finance Expert, and social activities at least six months immediately prior to filing for protection... 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