Divorce

Divorce

Get Dedicated Legal Help With Your Marital Issues

Equitable Distribution issues to be addressed by the Court are found at Section 3502 of the divorce code:

Equitable Distribution Factors


§ 3502. Equitable division of marital property.
(a) General rule.-- Upon the request of either party in an action for divorce or annulment, the court shall equitably divide, distribute or assign, in kind or otherwise, the marital property between the parties without regard to marital misconduct in such percentages and in such manner as the court deems just after considering all relevant factors. The court may consider each marital asset or group of assets independently and apply a different percentage to each marital asset or group of assets. Factors which are relevant to the equitable division of marital property include the following:
(1) The length of the marriage.
(2) Any prior marriage of either party.
(3) The age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties.
(4) The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party.
(5) The opportunity of each party for future acquisitions of capital assets and income.
(6) The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.
(7) The contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of a party as homemaker.
(8) The value of the property set apart to each party.
(9) The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.
(10) The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property is to become effective.
(10.1) The Federal, State and local tax ramifications associated with each asset to be divided, distributed or assigned, which ramifications need not be immediate and certain.
(10.2) The expense of sale, transfer or liquidation associated with a particular asset, which expense need not be immediate and certain.
(11) Whether the party will be serving as the custodian of any dependent minor children.
 
Every court must address these issues in determining any award of property in an equitable distribution case

Alimony Factors

Alimony is determined according to Section 3701 of the Pa Divorce code;
§ 3701. Alimony.
(a) General rule.--Where a divorce decree has been entered, the court may allow alimony, as it deems reasonable, to either party only if it
finds that alimony is necessary.
(b) Factors relevant.--In determining whether alimony is necessary and in determining the nature, amount, duration and manner of payment of alimony, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including:
(1) The relative earnings and earning capacities of the parties.
(2) The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the parties.
(3) The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.
(4) The expectancies and inheritances of the parties.
(5) The duration of the marriage.
(6) The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party.
(7) The extent to which the earning power, expenses or financial obligations of a party will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of a minor child.
(8) The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.
(9) The relative education of the parties and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking alimony to find appropriate employment.
(10) The relative assets and liabilities of the parties.
(11) The property brought to the marriage by either party.
(12) The contribution of a spouse as homemaker.
(13) The relative needs of the parties.
(14) The marital misconduct of either of the parties during the marriage. The marital misconduct of either of the parties from the date of final separation shall not be considered by the court in its determinations relative to alimony, except that the court shall consider the abuse of one party by the other party. As used in this paragraph, "abuse" shall have the meaning given to it under section 6102 (relating to definitions).
(15) The Federal, State and local tax ramifications of the alimony award.
(16) Whether the party seeking alimony lacks sufficient property, including, but not limited to, property distributed under Chapter 35 (relating to property rights), to provide for the party's reasonable needs.
(17) Whether the party seeking alimony is incapable of self-support through appropriate employment.
(c) Duration.--The court in ordering alimony shall determine the duration of the order, which may be for a definite or an indefinite period of time which is reasonable under the circumstances.
(d) Statement of reasons.--In an order made under this section, the court shall set forth the reason for its denial or award of alimony and the amount thereof.
 
You need to ask yourself, what are the key factors setforth in this statute I need to address. 

Custody Factors

Award of Custody Factors are set forth in Section 5328 of the PA Divorce code:
§ 5328. Factors to consider when awarding custody.
(a) Factors.--In ordering any form of custody, the court shall determine the best interest of the child by considering all relevant factors, giving weighted consideration to those factors which affect the safety of the child, including the following:
(1) Which party is more likely to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact between the child and another party.
(2) The present and past abuse committed by a party or member of the party's household, whether there is a continued risk of harm to the child or an abused party and which party can better provide adequate physical safeguards and supervision of the child.
(2.1) The information set forth in section 5329.1(a) (relating to consideration of child abuse and involvement with protective services).
(3) The parental duties performed by each party on behalf of the child.
(4) The need for stability and continuity in the child's education, family life and community life.
(5) The availability of extended family.
(6) The child's sibling relationships.
(7) The well-reasoned preference of the child, based on the child's maturity and judgment.
(8) The attempts of a parent to turn the child against the other parent, except in cases of domestic violence where reasonable safety measures are necessary to protect the child from harm.
(9) Which party is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with the child adequate for the child's emotional needs.
(10) Which party is more likely to attend to the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of the child.
(11) The proximity of the residences of the parties.
(12) Each party's availability to care for the child or ability to make appropriate child-care arrangements.
(13) The level of conflict between the parties and the willingness and ability of the parties to cooperate with one another. A party's effort to protect a child from abuse by another party is not evidence of unwillingness or inability to cooperate with that party.
(14) The history of drug or alcohol abuse of a party or member of a party's household.
(15) The mental and physical condition of a party or member of a party's household.
(16) Any other relevant factor.
 
If you are in a custody battle, the above factors must be examined and addressed in every case by the Court. Failure by you to do so will result in you losing your case.

The below link is to a complete copy of the divorce laws in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Click on the highlited link below.
Divorce

Get the Spousal Support You Deserve

I have been doing trials for divorce, equitable distribution, custody, and support in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland counties since 1984. 

It's important you get a fair award for support and not overpay or be underpaid. Any Order should be fair and properly calculated. It is important that any equitable distribution award is fair. 

You will be treated in a fair manner at all times when you have an experienced attorney. Contact James E. Miscavage, Attorney at Law for a FREE consultation today!

Prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial Agreement to Protect Your Assets

Everything looks rosy as you proceed with wedding preparations, but a little protection now can save you a lot of down-the-line problems. Take a little time to draw up a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle so you are protected in the unlikely event you have to use it.
§ 3106. Premarital agreements.
(a) General rule.--The burden of proof to set aside a premarital agreement shall be upon the party alleging the agreement to be unenforceable. A premarital agreement shall not be enforceable if the party seeking to set aside the agreement proves, by clear and convincing evidence, that:
(1) the party did not execute the agreement voluntarily;
or
(2) the party, before execution of the agreement:
(i) was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party;
(ii) did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided; and
(iii) did not have an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.
(b) Definition.--As used in this section, the term "premarital agreement" means an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective upon marriage.
Divorce

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