When people think of divorce, they generally just imagine the dissolution of a marriage, with belonging and assets being divided up and custody arrangements being made when children are involved. Few people realize that a divorce action involves protecting and preserving each party’s rights and that there are extensive and complex laws that have been put into place in order to ensure that every aspect of a divorce is handled fairly. Having an experienced divorce and child custody attorney on your side and acting as your advocate is the best way to ensure that your rights are protected and that you walk away from your marriage with everything to which you are entitled.
A qualified family law attorney will be able to answer all of your questions and represent you in every aspect of your divorce, including:
- Property division
The law requires that property is distributed equitably, which means that it is based upon what is fair rather than what is equal. Marital misconduct is not taken into consideration. Instead, factors such as the length of the marriage, income factors of each party, standard of living, and where any children will be living are considered.
- Spousal support
Spousal support is not a right. It is decided on a case-by-case basis, and if awarded can be temporary or permanent. Factors such as earnings capacity, contributions made by one spouse to the other’s education or training, and responsibility for child-rearing are considered.
- Child support
In Pennsylvania, child support is determined by each parent’s income and earning capacity. There are established guidelines that take into account the expenses and lifestyles of similarly situated families. Modifications can be made to address special needs.
- Child custody
The awarding of custody is generally based on what will be in the child’s best interest. Factors such as whether there is evidence of previous abuse, as well as a determination of which parent will work hardest to encourage a relationship with the other are taken into account.
- Grandparents’ rights
The state of Pennsylvania does provide for grandparents’ rights and allows visitation in a number of different circumstances, including where parents have been separated for six months or more or where divorce is in place.
By choosing a family law attorney who has extensive knowledge of divorce and child custody laws, you provide yourself with a potent voice and guide who will help you to anticipate and understand every step in the proceedings and act on your behalf to ensure that your rights are protected. The attorneys of Smith & Horwitz are passionate about our representation of our clients. From issues surrounding financial matters to ensuring that you have a continuing relationship with your children, we will be there for you at every step along the way, providing you with guidance and making sure that you receive the fair treatment that you deserve.