Lancaster Divorce Lawyer Protects Spouses’ Interests
Pennsylvania firm offers knowledgeable, determined representation
Divorces are as varied as marriages. Some are amicable, while others are contentious. No matter what your particular case involves, there are rules and timelines that must be followed and options that should be considered. Chan & Associates, located in Lancaster, has more than a decade of experience guiding spouses toward favorable results with skill and compassion. My firm emphasizes the benefits of settling on terms relating to custody, alimony, child support and property division, but is always prepared to provide aggressive advocacy if the situation calls for it.
What are the grounds for divorce in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania allows residents to file for divorce on a no-fault basis or to allege that their spouse has committed a specific type of misconduct identified by state law. Many people opt for a no-fault divorce, where a party requests that the court dissolve the marriage because the spousal relationship is irretrievably broken. You can also petition for a divorce based on one of the following fault grounds:
- Willful and malicious desertion lasting at least one year
- Cruel treatment
- Imprisonment for a term of at least two years
- Indignities that render the victimized spouse’s life intolerable
Additionally, the husband or wife of someone with a serious mental disorder that has led to institutionalization for at least 18 months may file for divorce on that basis.
What is a divorce by mutual consent?
Divorce by mutual consent is a form of no-fault marriage dissolution. In these cases, both spouses agree that their union is broken and cannot be repaired. Once the Complaint is filed, there is a 90-day waiting period after which the divorce can be granted if the parties have completed affidavits declaring they want to end the marriage. When there is not mutual consent, the court is able to terminate the marriage if the spouses have lived apart for at least one year.
What if a spouse will not consent to the divorce?
Though lack of consent from a husband or wife could make a divorce more complicated, it will not prevent you from dissolving the legal union. You could leave the marital home to start the one-year separation period or opt for a fault-based divorce. Opposing a spouse’s divorce petition makes the legal process longer and more expensive for both sides, so my firm works to obtain consent for the divorce so that everyone can focus on the custody and financial terms.
A divorce that fits your situation and needs
My firm understands how much upheaval a divorce can cause in your life. Accordingly, I don’t just strive to achieve favorable results in matters relating to parenting and financial terms, but also to relieve your burden throughout the marriage dissolution process. You might be interested in the collaborative divorce process where parties and their lawyers avoid the adversarial nature of litigation by sharing information and working together to reach consensus. In both contested and uncontested divorces, I keep clients informed of their options every step of the way so the divorce process reflects their priorities and goals.
Modifications to an existing divorce order
Your divorce decree reflects the circumstances at the time it was entered. Of course, life goes on and changes that occur in the months and years following your divorce might compel you to seek revisions to your alimony, child custody or child support terms. My firm works to negotiate modification agreements where appropriate and advocates for Pennsylvanians when legal action is required to make an adjustment. I also assist clients who are seeking to oppose modifications sought by their ex-spouse.
Contact a resourceful Pennsylvania divorce lawyer for a consultation
Chan & Associates in Lancaster provides skillful, compassionate counsel to Pennsylvanians who are going through a divorce. You can make an appointment to talk about the marriage dissolution process by calling 717-869-0015 or contacting me online.