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Pittsburgh Family Law Lawyer

Mediation

A better way to end a marriage, mediation saves time and money. Both parties come to the mediator's table to try to solve their custody, support, and/or equitable distribution problems. Divorce's negative impact on themselves and the children can be lessened when the parties work through conflicts by using mediation. As a practicing family lawyer, I have the advantage of training and experience to know current family law, court procedures, and the results of local court decisions.

Divorce

How soon can I expect the court to grant my divorce? Depends. Have you lived "separate and apart" for two years? Will the parties consent to entry of a Divorce Decree or litigate? Is it appropriate in your fact pattern to move the case quickly or slowly?

Equitable Distribution

This is the division of marital assets and debt without regard to actual ownership or legal title, but with regard to assets accumulated during the marriage. The court does not presume an equal division of marital property, but considers all relevant factors.

Child Support

The Pennsylvania Support Guidelines, are the presumptive method for calculating a support amount. The Guideline amount does not include additional amounts that can be ordered for a mortgage contribution, extracurricular activities, daycare expenses, and medical insurance coverage, for example. Wage attachments are automatic.

Custody

Custody has two components - physical and legal. Physical custody can be primary, shared, partial, or supervised visitation. Legal custody determines who makes major decisions regarding the child, such as schooling, medical decisions, etc. Third parties may have standing to institute custody proceedings, especially grandparents. Former stepparents are sometimes granted partial custody or visitation.

Alimony

Alimony following divorce is a secondary remedy and is available only where economic justice between the parties cannot be achieved by distributing the marital property. Spousal support or alimony pendente lite (pending the divorce), however, is to put the dependent spouse in an equal financial position pending the divorce decree.

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