Contested and Uncontested Divorce in Pennsylvania

Lancaster family law attorney handles all types of marriage dissolution cases

Divorces occur because spouses have disagreements that cannot be resolved. However, they can often make the transition to the next chapter in their lives if they can look past their conflicts while negotiating the terms of the divorce. By agreeing on language relating to child custody, property distribution, alimony and child support, parties can save time and money by filing for an uncontested divorce. Chan & Associates in Lancaster focuses on securing mutually acceptable settlements for clients whenever possible, but also delivers strong advocacy for Pennsylvanians in contested divorces.  

Uncontested divorce in Pennsylvania

Typically, spouses who are going through a divorce look forward to putting the legal process behind them and concentrating on making a successful transition back to single life. Opting for a no-fault divorce gives parties the chance to work out terms relating to child custody, property division, child support and alimony without having to argue over who was to blame for the breakup. As an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney, I help clients and their spouses find creative solutions to the disagreements standing in the way of a settlement. Depending on the circumstances, mediation might be helpful to foster a mutually acceptable compromise. If you and your spouse can agree on all terms, I can append the settlement document to your divorce filing and those provisions should form the basis of your marital dissolution decree.

Pros and cons of uncontested divorce

Reaching a marital settlement agreement usually benefits both parties. Mutual consent divorces can be finalized in approximately 90 days and without the expense associated with discovery, motion practice and trial. Even if serious emotional conflicts exist between the parties, it is often possible to achieve a settlement that gives everyone the chance to move on. My firm works diligently to find common ground wherever possible, but there are situations where a spouse refuses to negotiate in good faith and bringing the case to court is the best option. I will make sure that your interests are protected and that you are not pressured into a settlement with unfair terms.

Contested divorce in Pennsylvania

Unless a settlement is reached, a contested divorce carries on like any other adversarial civil litigation. This means that you might be required to testify in a deposition and in court. Many people are reluctant about dealing with such personal matters in a public setting as well as the expense and stress associated with going to court. Opting for a trial also means that the judge controls the resolution of your divorce proceeding, rather than you and your spouse.

Pros and cons of contested divorce

There can be circumstances where a spouse might prefer a contested divorce. Someone who has been victimized by domestic violence might have trouble negotiating a settlement with their abusive partner. Other times, a party simply will not bend on key issues, so the only way to obtain a fair result is by putting the case in the judge’s hands. However, it is important to have a full understanding of the consequences before you commit to litigation. I give all of my clients honest, practical advice regarding the potential pitfalls of a contested divorce, such as litigation costs and the potentially long wait before your trial date.

Speak with an accomplished family lawyer about the type of divorce that is right for you

Chan & Associates in Lancaster guides Pennsylvania spouses through contested and uncontested divorces. To speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your options, please call 717-869-0015 or contact me online.