Pittsburgh Divorce Attorneys
At the Law Office of Allison Gaffen, we understand the stresses associated with going through a divorce. We are committed to helping you through this difficult time and we pride ourselves on our ability to make our clients feel comfortable discussing these personal matters with us. Open communication with one’s attorney is vital in family court, especially when personal matters are at issue.
Pennsylvania Divorce Law
In Pennsylvania, there are four different grounds for divorce: fault, institutionalization, mutual consent, and irretrievable breakdown.
A no-fault divorce can be granted under the grounds of mutual consent if:
If one spouse has been convicted of committing a personal injury crime against the other spouse, that spouse's consent is now presumed.
A personal injury crime is an act that constitutes a misdemeanor or felony under any of the following, or criminal attempt, solicitation or conspiracy to commit any of the following:
A no-fault divorce can be granted under the grounds of irretrievable breakdown if:
In October 2016, Gov. Wolf signed Act 102, which reduces the two year separation period to one year. Act 102 will be effective 60 days after signing. This law will speed up the waiting period for no-fault divorces.
A divorce may be granted under fault grounds for the following reasons:
A divorce may be granted under the grounds of institutionalization if:
I'm considering getting a divorce, but nothing is filed. Should I meet with a lawyer?
If you are contemplating getting a divorce, but aren't sure if you want to go through with it, finding out your rights can be extremely helpful in making this tough decision. If you have children, you may want to learn about custody in Pennsylvania. If you have marital assets, or marital debt, you may want to find out how it will be divided. You also may want to know if you are eligible to receive support from the other party. To learn about your rights and to schedule a comprehensive consultation with Attorney Allison Gaffen, please click here.
What is the first step to getting a divorce?
A divorce complaint is drafted and filed. The filing fee must be paid at this time, if fees have not been waived. Allegheny County filing fees are available here.
What are other issues that I may need to address with my divorce?
Child custody, child support, equitable distribution, alimony, counsel fees, and temporary alimony (APL) are common issues that are addressed in divorce proceedings. Everyone's circumstances are different, so it is important to contact a lawyer for a complete assessment of the issues that may be involved with your divorce and how to pryoepare for these issues to be addressed.
Can marital counseling be ordered by the court?
Yes, marital counseling can be court-ordered in certain circumstances. If the divorce grounds are indignities (a subsection of fault grounds for divorce), the court can order up to three counseling sessions, if counseling is requested by a party. If the divorce grounds are mutual consent, the court can order up to three counseling sessions, if requested by a party within 90 days after the Divorce Complaint is filed.
If the divorce grounds are irretrievable breakdown and a hearing has been held to determine whether the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court may order up to three marital counseling sessions if a party requests it. The court may also order marital counseling if the parties have at least one child under the age of 16.
If you have a Protection from Abuse Order against your spouse or if your spouse has been convicted of a personal injury crime against you, the court cannot order marital counseling, if you object to the counseling.
To make an appointment with one of our Pittsburgh Divorce Lawyers, please call us at (412) 540-2400 or contact us online.
Law Office of Allison Gaffen
401 Wood Street, Suite 414
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: (412) 540-2400
Fax: (412) 540-3355