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PA divorce laws and separation

Discussion in 'Divorce, Separation, Annulment' started by jeepski, Jan 6, 2010.

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  1. jeepski

    jeepski Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My wife filed for divorce in PA in July 2007. We have lived separately since Aug 2007 (~2-1/2 years). She filed under 3301(c) but now refuses to consent b/c I am paying her health insurance and knows I want to "move on". We initially divided some property but there are retirement accounts and real estate (one home) that are left to be divided. She also will not file a Stip for Bifurcation. I also know that the retirement accounts can not be divided w/o a QDRO and a divorce decree. We have two children but already have a custody agreement in place. I want to finalize this and move on w/ my life and possibly get re-married. I would like to file under 3301(d) since we have separated for more than two years. However, I'm sure she will check item 2.b in the counter-affidavit and claim economic relief due to division of property. What happens in this case? Will the process halt until the property is divided or will the divorce decree be finalized w/ some type of "automatic" Stip for Bifurcation? There's no sense filing under 3301(d) if the property issue holds up the process. If so, what else can I do to "force" the issue? Can I still get the divorce with the understanding (by court order) that the property still has to be divided?
     
  2. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    Divorce Laws

    Your Guide to Divorce Laws
    Going through a divorce is never easy, and divorce laws are supposed to be in place to make the process simpler and less painful. This is the theory at least - it may not always work out that way. This article is going to discuss many aspects of divorce - why it happens, how it happens, and the consequences - in relation to divorce laws. You will see that the place in which you live and file for divorce can have an impact of the outcome of your case and affect the rest of your life. We will also look in detail at the marriage problems that can lead to divorce, and how to be sure if the problems in your marriage are a legitimate grounds for divorce. We will also look at the process you must go through when filing for divorce, the differences in laws between various states, and how to recover from going through a difficult divorce.
     
  3. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    Why People Divorce
    The reasons why people divorce are many and various. In a lot of cases, the divorce comes simply because of the fact that the two spouses realize they have differences that they can't possibly resolve, on their own or through marriage counselling. This is often the case with couples who get married young. They make the decision to get married before they truly understand who they are and what their priorities in life should be. As they get older and these things come to the surface in their personalities, they realize that they simply don't work as a couple. In the best case scenario, this kind of couple can agree amicably to part ways and negotiate the dividing up of any marital property, as well as coming to a mutually satisfactory arrangement concerning any children produced by the marriage. Unfortunately, this best case scenario rarely happens.
     
  4. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    There are several other common reasons for divorce that don't result from mutual differences. One of these covered by most state divorce laws is adultery, or one spouse having sexual relations outside of the marriage. When the other spouse finds out about this, it can be a heartbreaking experience. Some couples are able to resolve the underlying problems and move forward, but for many this act signifies an irreversible breaking of the bond of trust and it leads to the end of the marriage.
     
  5. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    Of course, there are plenty of other things that can go wrong in a marriage. The dependence of a spouse on drugs or alcohol is another big issue. When someone becomes addicted to a substance, it typically impairs their ability to function properly as a spouse and a parent. Alcohol and drugs have accounted for many marriage breakups over the years.

    Domestic violence, or cruel an inhuman treatment of one spouse by the other, is sadly also a big cause of divorce and the breakup of families. These are more or less universally covered by state divorce laws. Acts of domestic violence or attempts to kill a spouse are grounds for divorce all over the United States, and some states also make provisions for psychological bullying or general acts that make the other spouse's life miserable.
     
  6. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    How to File For Divorce
    Filing for divorce can be a complicated process, and you should always look to enlist the help of a lawyer. You must gather documents pertaining to any property that will be divided up if the divorce goes ahead. You need to organize and establish who owns what, and have documentary proof of this, before you start on divorce proceedings. Decide on the grounds on which you want to file the divorce - you will either be filing on a No Fault grounds, like irreconcilable differences, or a grounds relating to something one spouse has done wrong in the marriage. You should also try to obtain any evidence you may have relating to the grounds for divorce.
     
  7. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    There is typically a fee involved with actually filing the divorce papers, but it is usually less than $100. It will differ depending where you are. The process of filing the paperwork will be made a lot smoother with your lawyer's assistance. Also, make sure before you even start that you meet the residency requirements needed to file a divorce in your state.
     
  8. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    State Divorce Laws
    It's important to realize that in the United States, divorce laws are made on a state level and the divorce laws differ from state to state. Differences can include the residency requirements for filing in the first place, the grounds on which you can file, and the guidelines used for dividing property and determining who will have custody of the children. There are some similarities across most states - for instance, most states use the principle of "equitable distribution," meaning the courts will divide up property based on what the court views as being a fair division between the spouses. However, the guidelines used to determine fairness may differ in subtle ways from state to state. The same if true for determining things like child custody and alimony payments.
     
  9. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    Property
    As mentioned above, most states use a principle of fair distribution, and the definition of fair can differ from state to state. However, there are a few general factors that tend to be true no matter what state divorce laws the proceedings are governed by. For instance, in many cases if one spouse has a much lower income than the other, with fewer prospects for continued education or good future employment opportunities, that spouse may be awarded slightly more than the other. The reasoning behind this is that it is easier for a spouse on a high income to acquire new property and assets after the divorce.
     
  10. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    Another factor that is commonly used in determining property division is who will retain primary custody of the children. It's not uncommon for a spouse to be awarded the family home if they have also been given full custody of the children, as it's deemed to cause less emotional impact on the children if they are allowed to stay in the place where they already live.
     
  11. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    Child Custody
    All across the country, the decisions a court will make concerning child custody and parental visitation rights will be made based on the best interests of the child or children. Now, ideally you want to organize child custody out of court between you and your spouse, or at least through court mediation. However, in the worst case scenario, you will end up in a custody battle in court. In this situation, there are a few general tips to keep in mind to help your chances of winning custody.
     
  12. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    Always emphasize the loving bond between you and your child
    Emphasize your intention to maintain the bond between the child and the other parent, unless there is a safety reason why there should be no contact between them. Emphasize that you will do your best to keep the child's life as normal as possible - in other words, if you plan to uproot the child to a new city after the divorce, that will harm your chances of winning custody
     
  13. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    Alimony (Spousal Support) and Child Support
    The issues of ongoing payments after the divorce are also of a big concern to many people considering a legal split. Different states use different principles and calculations for determining child and spousal support payments.
     
  14. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    One factor that is taken into the account more or less universally across all state divorce laws is the length of the marriage. Other factors include things such as the relative wealth and earning power before and after the marriage. In most instances, the parent who does not win custody of any children will be expected to pay child support unless there is some large disparity of incomes between the parents. For instance, if the custodial parent has a high income and the non-custodial parent is unemployed, imposing child support payments would be largely meaningless.
     
  15. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    Life After Divorce
    For some people, the divorce itself is not even hardest part - it's surviving after the fact which can be really difficult. It's completely natural to go through a period of mourning after a divorce. After all, there was a person who was once extremely close to you who is no longer around - that can wreak having on your psychology.
     
  16. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    There are a few things you can do to help you get through the divorce. First of all, make sure you get out of the house. You may not feel like it, but you ought to force yourself to go out with your friends. Keep your good friends close - don't allow any bitterness you may have over the end of the marriage to affect your existing friendships. A few good friends can make a huge difference when you're working through an emotional event like a divorce.
     
  17. treytreyy

    treytreyy New Member

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    A divorce is difficult, but it's not the end of the world. You will recover, and as long as you put yourself out there, you will find someone else who appreciates you for who you really are.

    http://www.divorce-laws-by-state.com
     

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