The breakup of a marriage is an emotionally painful event. No matter how difficult your situation, Catherine H. Voit helps you pick up the pieces. With more than 25 years of experience in family law, Catherine has the knowledge and skills to guide you through the divorce process, including property division, alimony, child support, child custody and visitation. You can count on Catherine to give candid and compassionate legal advice, while working tirelessly to protect your interests.
Under Pennsylvania law, “separating” or living apart from your spouse does not change your legal status. To officially dissolve the marriage, one spouse must initiate divorce proceedings.
Several different types of divorce are available under Pennsylvania law. Which type is best for you largely depends on why you want to end your marriage. No-fault divorces are the simplest and most common form of divorce. When no-fault divorces are uncontested — meaning that you and your spouse agree on such issues as property division and alimony — the court will grant your divorce request within 90 days, and you will not have to attend any court hearings. You can also pursue a no-fault divorce unilaterally by demonstrating to the court that you and your spouse have been living apart for at least two years and the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Fault-based divorce is still permitted under Pennsylvania law. However, you will have to prove that you are the “innocent and injured spouse” and that your spouse committed a wrongful act, such as adultery, desertion or spousal abuse.
You and your spouse are still married during the separation period, so a lot of issues remain to be resolved. Catherine H. Voit helps spouses draft a separation agreement that addresses asset division, spousal support, child custody, child visitation and other issues. Catherine also offers collaborative divorce and mediation services that help spouses negotiate the terms of their divorce agreement without going to court
Most spouses have accumulated both assets and liabilities during their marriage, including houses, cars, retirement accounts, home loans and credit card debt. The parties should try to reach a property settlement agreement that outlines who will take over each marital asset and debt. If they cannot agree, a Pennsylvania court will make an “equitable” (or fair) distribution. Whether through mediation or court, Catherine H. Voit helps you with the difficult task of dividing marital property.
The court may order one spouse to pay alimony to the other based on a number of factors, including the length of the marriage, the health of the parties and their relative incomes. Attorney Catherine H. Voit examines the finances of both parties to help you determine whether alimony is warranted. Whether you are the spouse who will be receiving alimony or the one who will be paying it, Catherine works hard to establish fair and realistic payments. When circumstances change, she helps seek modifications of alimony orders.
Parents understandably worry about the effect of the divorce on their children. Catherine H. Voit helps you create a child custody and visitation arrangement that protects your parental rights and serves the best interests of your children. She explains how child support is determined under the Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines, and she assists you when an existing order needs to be enforced. After a change in circumstances, Catherine works to modify your original child support order.
With more than 25 years of experience in family law, Catherine H. Voit is ready to help you navigate the divorce process. From property division to child custody, Catherine’s results-oriented approach helps you move forward with your new life. To discuss your case, call Catherine today at 484-881-3185 or contact her online. Evening and early morning appointments are available upon request.