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Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law

Family law issues can be overwhelming and confusing. Whether you need information about a divorce or a child custody issue, our experienced family law attorneys at Douglas, Joseph & Olson Attorneys At Law are here for you to answer your questions and provide honest guidance. You can contact us to schedule a consultation and have your questions answered. In the meantime, please see some responses to our most frequently asked questions.

What is a dissolution of marriage?

In states other than Pennsylvania, you may hear the term “dissolution of marriage” when speaking about a divorce. Often, that term is just a synonym for divorce in that state; in some states, the term is used for a no-fault divorce. In Pennsylvania, the term “dissolution” is not used, and the legal system only refers to the process of ending a marriage as divorce or, in rare circumstances, an annulment.

Does it matter who files for divorce first?

If you and your spouse are filing an uncontested divorce, it does not make a difference for the party that filed first. In an uncontested divorce, the party who files first may have certain advantages, such as control over the pace and location of the divorce and status as the first to file temporary restraining orders. Also, the petitioner, the one who filed first, is typically the first party to present their case at trial.

How long do you have to be married to get alimony?

In Pennsylvania, there is no minimum duration of the marriage to receive alimony. If the parties are unable to agree on alimony, the court may make a determination as to the necessity, duration and amount of alimony, considering facts presented at a hearing and using required statutory factors.

Who gets custody of the kids in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania law always puts the child’s best interests at the forefront of all custody decisions. The court will consider various factors that impact the child and make a determination. Unfortunately, this process can be long and stressful. It is often easiest to come to an agreement with your spouse in an uncontested divorce to avoid going through court.

We Are Here For You

We know how overwhelming it is when you are facing a family law issue. We are here to answer all of your questions and give you honest and compassionate guidance. Contact us to speak to one of our experienced divorce lawyers today. You can call our Hermitage office at 724-704-0554 or fill out an online contact form.