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.