When it comes to Pennsylvania family law, you may have many questions regarding divorce, child custody, spousal support and how your assets will be divided. It’s a lot to handle alone. The Scranton family lawyer at Kalinoski Law Offices has put together a list of frequently asked questions regarding Pennsylvania family law.
Are divorce records public?
In Pennsylvania, divorce and marriage records are public. However, to find them, you must go to the county courthouse where the marriage was issued or the divorce decree was granted.
You can find a list of all of the Pennsylvania county courthouses here.
Can child custody be changed?
Child custody can be changed in Pennsylvania through a child custody modification order. Because this change impacts the child’s life, all parties will go through another hearing as they first received for the custody order.
The court will consider what is in the best interest of the child when ruling on a modification.
How long do I receive spousal support?
While no law exists, the common rule in the court system is that the spouse receiving support will receive one year of alimony for every three years of marriage.
However, there are other factors that go into determining spousal support aside from the length of marriage such as:
- Your income and the income of your spouse
- Age and physical health
- The quality of life you and your spouse enjoyed while married
- Current employment and skills
How does child relocation work?
In Pennsylvania, if the custodial parent wishes to relocate with their child, they are required to file a formal notice to the non-relocating parent with at least 60 days’ notice if this move would impact the non-custodial parent’s ability to exercise their custodial rights.
However, if the non-custodial parent does not agree to the relocation, court intervention is required prior to moving and the court will decide what is in the child’s best interest.
What happens if I can’t pay child support?
If you are behind on child support, there are options to ensure your child is taken care of. You may be able to file a child support modification if you have experienced a change in income, which may alter your child support requirements.
How do you divide marital assets?
If you and your ex are unable to agree upon how assets will be divided in the divorce, the court will decide based on the “equitable distribution” model.
Along with a variety of factors that will determine the division of assets, the courts will also look at the separate and marital property to determine which property goes to which individual.
What is the purpose of a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement protects those individuals who are entering a marriage who are bringing significant assets into the marriage and wish to protect those from the equitable distribution process if a divorce occurs later on.
Is a separation agreement legal?
In Pennsylvania, a separation agreement is a legally-bound civil contract between spouses to resolve their personal matters.
Once a couple no longer behaves as spouses, a separation has occurred.
Can you sue for grandparents’ rights?
Pennsylvania grandparents are able to seek visitation or “reasonable partial custody” if a parent of the child has died, or if the parents are divorced, have filed for divorce or have been separated for a minimum of six months.
If their legal status also deems it appropriate, grandparents can also request physical or legal custody of a child under certain circumstances.
For more information on family law topics in Pennsylvania, visit our blog.