Lackawanna County Divorce Attorney
Helping Build Better & Brighter Futures
Divorce. The mere mention of the word can bring up a number of complex emotions: Frustration, anger, hopelessness, and anxiety. But for some, a divorce can signify a new beginning.
True, it is the end of a marriage, but it may be the beginning of a better life.
At O’Malley Law Office, LLC our goal is to provide the level of legal representation in a divorce that helps our client face a truly brighter future.
A Lackawanna County divorce lawyer from our firm can handle simple and complex divorce proceedings with compassion, professionalism, and good old-fashioned hard work to achieve the best possible outcome in matters related to financial support, custody, and the division of property.
See how a Scranton divorce attorney can help by calling (570) 284-3551. Your first consultation is free. We serve Lackawanna County, Wyoming, Luzerne, Monroe, Wayne, and Susquehanna, PA.
We Can Help with All Aspects of Your Divorce
Whether you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are on good terms or are at each other’s throats, you will have to resolve a number of issues when you end your marriage. These issues are far more complex if you have children, if you own a business, or if you have a significant amount of assets to divide.
Your financial future, your children’s well-being, and your family home may be on the line.
An experienced divorce attorney in Lackawanna County, PA can work closely with you to protect your interests and your rights when it comes to any aspect of divorce.
The following are some of the issues we can handle in a divorce:
- Child custody and visitation;
- Child support;
- Asset and property division;
- Spousal support; and
- Domestic violence and protection from abuse orders.
At times, these issues may be resolved through an out-of-court agreement reached through negotiation or mediation. In other cases, it may come to courtroom litigation and a judge’s ruling on these complex matters.
In either scenario, our divorce lawyers in Scranton have the skill and resources to provide competent legal counsel if you have any questions about how to file for divorce or what is needed to begin your divorce petition.
Divorce Requirements in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s residency requirements specify that one spouse must live in the state for at least six months before filing.
Once you’ve met those requirements, you can file for divorce on one of three grounds:
- No-fault and mutual consent divorce;
- Divorce based on a one year separation; or
- Fault-based divorce.
Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce
If both spouses agree on ending their marriage, they can proceed with a divorce by mutual consent.
Fault-based divorces, however, must be filed on certain grounds, such as:
- Abandonment for at least one year
- Physical and mental cruelty and abuse
- The felony conviction of your spouse
- The imprisonment of your spouse for at least two years
- Hospitalization of your spouse for a serious mental disorder for 18 months
- Irreconcilable differences
What If My Spouse Won't Consent to Divorce?
If one spouse wants to divorce, but the other doesn’t, the spouse who wants the divorce can move forward without the other party’s consent as long as the couple has lived apart for at least one year before filing the divorce complaint.
After this period has elapsed, you must file an affidavit stating that the required time has passed. This allows you to divorce your spouse after they have been notified and served. However, your spouse may still raise objections.
If this happens, the filing will go before a judge. The latter may enter a divorce decree twenty days after your spouse has been served. It is important to note, however, that a divorce cannot be obtained against a spouse who is unrepresented or serving in the military.
What Is the Process for Divorce in PA?
Although there are multiple types of divorce in Pennsylvania, they all generally follow the same process:
- Filing of a divorce complaint - One copy of the form will be filed with the court. The other copy must be served to the spouse within 30 days.
- Gathering of records - The next step involves gathering important records relating to assets and debts. The spouses will need to reach an agreement about the division of property, child custody, and child/spousal support.
- Negotiation and hearings - If your divorce is uncontested, the process is relatively straightforward. If your divorce is contested, you will likely need to turn to litigation.
- Resolution and judgment - The court files a divorce decree to officially dissolve the marriage.
How Long Does It Take To Get a Divorce in PA?
The length of time it takes to get a divorce in Pennsylvania depends on several factors, including:
- How easily the spouses agree to the terms;
- The spouses’ assets and debts;
- Whether a premarital agreement is in place;
- Whether children are involved; and
- How quickly the court reviews the terms, holds the hearings and files the orders.
How Much Is Divorce in PA?
The average cost for a divorce in Pennsylvania is around $14,300 if no children are involved and around $21,500 if children are involved. However, the actual amount will depend on a variety of factors, including how many contested issues will need to be resolved as well as the type of divorce.
Do I Need a Divorce Attorney?
Yes, you should retain a divorce lawyer.
Even if your case seems straightforward, you should get the insight and expertise of a legal professional. You must protect your parental rights and financial interests. Your lawyer will ensure that the final settlement allows you to parent your children and that it gives you the means to make a fresh start.
If you know that your divorce will be highly contentious, you should hire a Lackawanna County divorce attorney before you do anything else. You may need to file numerous motions in the court to protect yourself and your children before the divorce proceedings even start.
“True professional & made an unfortunate experience bearable.”
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“Not only is he efficient, but he has a very kind, professional attitude and is full of compassion.”
“Not going to meet a better guy.”
“Quality, Timeliness, Customer Service”
“We highly recommend Mr. O'Malley for standing by us; seeing our most difficult situation thru to the very end. It”
“I am forever grateful for everything.”
“I am very pleased how you handled my case.”
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