Divorce will completely shake up your stable, predictable life. Your daily schedule, your finances and your family itself will all have to change when you end your marriage. Many people put off filing for divorce in Pennsylvania in part because they don’t know what to expect and dislike that feeling of uncertainty.
When you learn a bit about the family law system in Pennsylvania, you can develop reasonable expectations for your upcoming divorce proceedings and your life after divorce. What can you expect in a Pennsylvania divorce?
An equitable share of marital property
Some spouses sign marital agreements that determine how they will split up their property when they divorce. Others will need to negotiate their own arrangements or rely on a judge.
If you go to court, equitable distribution rules will apply to your marital property. Most everything that you or your spouse purchased or earned during the marriage will be marital property that you have to fairly split between the two of you. A judge will split both your belongings and your debt in a manner they determine is reasonable and fair based on the circumstances of your marriage.
A relationship with your children
Some people become very bitter during divorce and try desperately to cut their ex out of their lives. Such behavior is not appropriate or reasonable when you share children.
Even if your ex wants sole custody, a judge would rather enter a custody order that prioritizes what is best for the children. There is a presumption that keeping both parents involved would be in the best interest of the children unless there is evidence of severe instability, abuse or neglect.
Support when appropriate
Both dependent spouses and parents with more responsibility to care for the children may receive support from their ex following a divorce. Child support is automatic and will be crucial for your children’s future. Spousal maintenance or alimony is not automatic, which means that you will need to file a request and have a judge review your situation to obtain such support.
It can be difficult to think about what life will look like after the end of your marriage, but you don’t have to fear the future. Determining what you can specifically expect in your situation can help you move on most effectively when contemplating a divorce.