Family law is a specialized area of legal practice that deals with family relationships including pre-nuptial agreements, divorce, alimony, spousal support, child support, custody, paternity, adoption, guardianship, partitions and more. From simple negotiations, to complex financial cases that involve litigation, even the uncontested divorce and custody matters require an experienced attorney to ensure paperwork is drafted and timed appropriately to avoid rejection from the court.
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At Sher & Associates we have over 15 years of experience in a broad range of family law issues. We understand that these situations may be sensitive and difficult for both parties, and we are adept at providing the legal and emotional support you need to ensure everything goes smoothly. We also understand that it may become necessary to rigorously fight for your rights and financial security.
But don’t take our word for it. Here are comments from grateful Berks County and Schuylkill County area residents:
- Going through a divorce is a huge worry. My divorce was handled very professionally and efficiently with the best possible outcome for me. The entire staff at Sher and Associates answered my questions promptly and were very responsive throughout. During a difficult time, it was nice to know I could depend on Sher & Associates. J.R.
- I was worried about my kids. My spouse and I could not agree on a schedule. The entire staff supported me through the process and my Attorney aggressively fought for me and my children at trial. I got the schedule I wanted for my children and their well-being. I can’t thank everyone at Sher & Associates enough. A. H.
We have been an active contributor in the Kutztown PA business community since 1996, where we serve individuals and families throughout the Berks County and Schuylkill County area.
If you are in need of professional help in an alimony, child custody, support, divorce, paternity, or pre-nuptial agreement matter call us today at 610.683.0771 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. The conversation and any subsequent conversation is strictly confidential. We are here to help you!
Disclaimer: Any information contained on this page is not to be considered legal advice and is for guidance only. Please consult an Attorney to protect your legal rights.
1. Desertion for one year or more;
3. “[C]ruel and barbarous treatment” that put your life or health in danger (i.e. abuse);
4. Bigamy (i.e. your spouse was already married);
5. Your spouse was sentenced to prison for a crime for two or more years; or
6. Your spouse made your “condition intolerable and life burdensome” by their actions.
Alternatively, you can also get a divorce if your spouse was institutionalized (e.g. for mental health reasons). For this to work, your spouse must have already been institutionalized for 18 months, and will not be discharged for another 18 months with no signs of improving.
Filing a fault divorce is often more complicated than a no-fault divorce and requires bringing the proof of your divorce grounds to court. However, if fault grounds are proven, it can have an affect on whether or not one spouse is entitled to and/or receives or has to pay alimony. Many factors are at play, so it is best to speak with a lawyer in this circumstance.
If you are being mentally or physically abused, please contact SAFE BERKS now so that they can assist you with your safety. They are available 24/7 at 844-789- SAFE or text SAFE BERKS to 20121. If it is the financial aspect that has you concerned, there are many factors to consider in the divorce code when determining who should get what assets and different types of support that can help you during the divorce process and afterwards. This is another aspect in which your particular circumstances influence the outcome and speaking with a lawyer before you do anything is always best.
Key factors used in determining distribution are the parties’ respective incomes, capacity for future earnings, age, contributions as homemaker or caretaker of children, and value of nonmarital property. Lesser factors to be considered are length of the marriage, other marriages, contribution to education/earning capacity of the other party, contributions to or dissipations from the marital estate, standard of living, and tax ramifications of retaining certain assets.
Because of the varying factors involved, the decision is going to be different in each case, as each family has its own financial portfolio and individual differences that will affect the ultimate outcome.
Alimony in Pennsylvania, on the other hand, can only be received after the divorce decree has been finalized and all issues regarding property division, or equitable distribution, are resolved as well. The law provides for a list of seventeen factors that need to be considered in order to determine if someone should receive alimony.
Because many factors are involved, it is important to discuss your unique situation with an attorney to determine if support or alimony will be awarded in your case.
Physical custody describes where the child/children spends their time. The person who has primary custody has the majority of the time, while the person who has partial custody has the child/children part of the time, whether it be weekends only or some other amount under fifty percent of the time. Of course, parties can also share or have joint custody.
- If the parents were married to each other when the child was born, paternity is presumed;
- If during the lifetime of the child, it’s determined by clear and convincing evidence that the father holds out the child to be his and either receives the child into his home or provides support to the child; or
- If there’s clear and convincing evidence that the man was the father of the child, including through genetic testing or a prior court determination of paternity.
Once paternity is established for any length of time, it can be difficult to undo and can lead to a duty to support the child, both financially and emotionally, until they emancipate, even if the child is not biologically yours. On the flip side, if paternity is not established, your parental rights may not be recognized, despite your prior actions. It is important to talk to a lawyer early on if paternity is in question for any reason.