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The Law Offices of Robert Galbraith offers relevant information on Family Law for families throughout Western Pennsylvania.

Call (724) 304- 4604 to schedule a consultation with Attorney Galbraith

Can You Collect More Child Support?

Pennsylvania Child Support in 2017

If you are receiving or paying child support in Pennsylvania, it may interest you to know that in May of 2017, an amended table for child custody amounts will go into effect. The state legislature typically provides for a review and increase of child support figures every four years and the upward adjustments are designed to account for the routine increase in cost of living, etc. With the last adjustment having occurred in 2013, the time has come once again to revisit Pennsylvania’s child support tables.

As a recipient or payor of child support in Pennsylvania, you may be interested in what this might mean for you. First, ordinarily, to obtain a modification of an existing order for support or maintenance, one must show that a “material and substantial change in circumstance” to one of the parties financial situations has occurred. The amended child support tables would provide for a change in circumstance. However, it may not be time to run off to the courthouse yet.

Is a child support modification right for you?

It would be very important to meet with a child support lawyer in the Pittsburgh area to have an analysis done as to your specific situation. By providing a child support attorney with accurate financial information, they can review your specific case with you. As with all legal matters, you want your attorney to review information with you fairly and to give you pragmatic advice. If a modification would result in only a small difference a month, would the litigation be worth the counsel fees?

Call Pittsburgh child support attorney Robert Galbraith today at 724-304-4604 to schedule a confidential consultation and to have your child support situation reviewed.

Complex High Asset Divorce in Pittsburgh

Contact Pittsburgh Divorce Attorney Robert Galbraith at (724) 304-4604 if you are facing a complex, high asset divorce.

Complex High Asset Divorce Issues in Pittsburgh

Divorce presents several economic issues for those who earn relatively high amounts, own their own businesses and for couples who have enjoyed a relatively high standard of living. One may find themselves faced with how to divide substantial assets such as businesses, real estate, investments, and various high valued collections, etc.

Perhaps one spouse has been the primary wage earner in such a situation which may make the other feel like they are entering divorce from a less powerful position. Fear of the unknown can be an impediment for either party and lack of knowledge of the divorce process can cause either to make mistakes.

These types of cases need to be handled with an experienced attorney who will value your need for discretion. The priority if faced with such a case is to make sure you have an attorney who can advise you on the myriad of issues that will likely be present in a complex high asset divorce. Those issues may range from complex support situations, business valuations, valuations of retirement accounts and pensions, and receiving accurate appraisals of real estate and or personal property.

You need an experienced and trusted attorney

Attorney Robert Galbraith has represented corporate officers and successful entrepreneurs as well as their spouses in complex high asset divorce litigation. Robert approaches all cases from the perspective that the important financial issues should be identified and a path towards settlement should be pursued at every opportunity. This is especially important in complex high asset divorce cases. It can be a natural impulse to believe that these cases need to be litigated vigorously to obtain a favorable result. This is not always true. A more fruitful approach may be to utilize the network of financial experts whom Robert has worked with in the past, have the experts examine the marital estate, and present the information to both parties as soon as possible and try to reach a settlement.

If you are faced with complex financial issues and a high asset divorce, call Robert at (724) 304-4604 to schedule a confidential consultation. You will always meet personally with Robert who will advise you as to your options and the divorce process.

Equitable Distribution in Pittsburgh Divorce

Equitable Distribution in Pittsburgh Divorce Cases

Pittsburgh residents facing divorce often need an understanding as to what equitable distribution means under Pennsylvania law.  Equitable distribution deals with how your marital assets and debts will be divided.  Most Pittsburgh divorce litigants may expect to have accumulated some marital property or debt between the date of marriage and the date of separation making an analysis of property division, or “equitable distribution”, necessary in most Pittsburgh divorce cases.

One of the first misunderstandings clients usually hold is that equitable distribution means that property and debts will be divided “equally.”  This is not so.   Under Pennsylvania law, an equitable distribution of property in divorce means that marital property and debts will be divided between the parties in a manner which is considered “fair.”

Thus, where one spouse enjoys a higher earning capacity than the other, or may possess a significant amount of non-marital assets like an inheritance, the law may determine the other spouse should receive 55%, 60%, or in some cases, even a higher percentage of the marital assets.  Likewise, the same spouse may be responsible for more of the marital debt.  Other factors to be considered might be what will the division of marital assets and debts are as a whole once all assets and debts are taken into account.

Many clients also ask if marital misconduct is considered in determining what appropriate equitable distribution in divorce is.  Under Pennsylvania law, the answer is generally no as most divorces are now obtained on no-fault grounds.  However, there are limited exceptions.  One such exception might be when one spouse can prove that the other used marital funds to finance marital misconduct and the party can prove the alleged marital misconduct occurred.

Pittsburgh divorce litigants should bear in mind that while divorce is very emotional, the equitable distribution phase of case should be approached like it is one of the largest business deals of your life.  While difficult, you should try to remove all emotion and engage in negotiations based on facts and logic.  You need an attorney who will understand the right strategy to employ for you as your particular situation will dictate that you approach equitable distribution in any number of ways.

If you have reached the unfortunate decision to explore divorce, contact Pittsburgh divorce lawyer, Robert Galbraith, at (724) 304-4604 to schedule a consultation and learn more about your rights.

Child Custody in Butler County, Pennsylvania

Custody Procedures in Butler County

If you’re a Butler County resident and are considering an action for child custody, modification, relocation, grandparents rights, paternity, enforcement, or contempt, it is important to understand the procedures your case will follow once filed.

Custody actions in Butler County begin with the filing of a Complaint for custody of a petition depending on your specific case. Butler County custody attorney, Robert Galbraith, will help you to understand the differences between legal custody and physical custody as well as the various types of visitation recognized in Pennsylvania.

The Court will schedule a child custody conference which must take place within forty-five (45) days after the filing of the Complaint or Petition.  Both parents will also receive an Order from the Court to attend a parenting class offered by Families Forever.  The parenting class is designed to help parents navigate the custody process and ensure that the children are impacted to the least amount possible.

At the custody conference, you will be represented by your attorney and have an opportunity to present your concerns.  Butler County’s child custody officer has experience in handling custody actions and will listen to both parents before attempting to help the parties to reach a settlement.  It is possible that your case will settle at this stage and an order will be agreed to by both parents ending your litigation.

If a settlement cannot be reached, the custody officer may recommend that the parents participate in a custody evaluation.  The custody officer will also recommend a custody arrangement which will set forth in a temporary order signed by the Court.  Either party can request within thirty days of the entry of the Court’s temporary order that the judge assigned to your case schedule a pretrial conference.

Butler County Child Custody Attorney, Robert Galbraith

Butler County child custody attorney Robert Galbraith has offices in Wexford, Pennsylvania and has represented families from Cranberry Township and Butler County in custody actions.  Please call Robert at (724) 304-4604 to schedule a consultation at your convenience.

Divorce Procedures in Allegheny County

When clients approach an Allegheny County divorce, they often ask questions dealing with the substantive law surrounding divorce. How is property divided? How will custody be determined? How much will a client be expected to receive in support – or perhaps have to pay in support? These questions are common, but a question that is asked in almost every Allegheny County divorce is how long will it take to receive a divorce decree.

Part of the answer lies in the substantive law regarding Pennsylvania’s no-fault divorce statute. In short a no-fault divorce can be granted after service of the Divorce Complaint and the passing of a 90-day waiting period if both parties consent and all of your particular issues have been worked out and reduced in writing to a Marital Settlement Agreement. The second method of obtaining an Allegheny County Divorce is to plead that there has been a two-year period of separation, allowing one party to unilaterally seek a divorce. However, one should not assume the passing of a two-year period of separation allows one party to obtain a divorce decree without further court appearances. If one party raises issues which the Court has to decide, the following procedures will be followed and the length of your divorce will be extended.

Your Allegheny County Divorce attorney will file appropriate Affidavits alleging either that you consent to the entry of a divorce decree or there has already been a two-year period of separation which will allow the case to proceed. Both parties are typically rquired to file an Inventory of marital assets and debts if they have not already and either party may petition the Judge assigned to your case to schedule a conciliation.

At the conciliation, you and your attorney will meet with the other party and his or her legal representative where the Court will attempt to determine if a settlement of outstanding issues cannot be reached. If settlement cannot be reached, your case may be scheduled to proceed before an Allegheny County Master who will hear evidence of issues related to property and debt division as well as alimony, if applicable, before making recommendations to the Judge. Either party may file Exceptions to the Master’s recommendations within a certain time period.

It is possible that following the above, a trial will be scheduled where outstanding issues will be determined by the judge who is assigned to your case.

In some matters, litigation as described above is inevitable and many clients make the decision to proceed as described. Ultimately, this should always be the client’s decision and it is important that you have an Allegheny County divorce lawyer counseling you each step of the way.

Contact Allegheny County Divorce Attorney, Robert Galbraith at (724) 304-4604 today to schedule a consultation.