Ending a marriage can be a confusing and painful process, involving many difficult decisions. Selecting the right lawyer can be a difficult decision, but selecting the wrong lawyer can be disastrous. McIntosh Lawyers, PC is part of your solution.
McIntosh Lawyers, PC was founded over two (2) decades ago by Joe McIntosh, Esquire who has the credentials and experience to prosecute or defend your divorce, and all associated issues, with confidence and compassion. McIntosh Lawyers, PC serves its clients by practically solving problems and helping clients make informed decisions at each juncture. From the initial filing through the final divorce decree, our divorce lawyers are responsive, understanding, and professional. We will help ease the anxiety of the divorce process by swiftly and thoroughly answering your questions and concerns, as well as outlining the options to meet your objectives.
As part of a divorce, McIntosh Lawyers, PC also provides legal representation and guidance in the following related divorce matters:
- Child Custody, Visitation, and Support;
- Alternative Dispute Resolution, including mediation, arbitration and Collaborative Divorce;
- Spousal Support or Alimony Pendente Lite (APL); and
- division of marital property and assets
In Pennsylvania, a dissolution of a marriage can be accomplished by one of three ways:
1) Annulment: A marriage can be legally annulled by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for one of the following reasons, which must be proven:
- You were married under false pretenses;
- At the time of the marriage, you could not give consent; or
- The marriage was illegal in Pennsylvania.
For the annulment of a marriage, consent is not required by the other spouse, nor is there any type of waiting period.
2) No-Fault Divorce: The majority of divorces in Pennsylvania are categorized as no-fault divorces. In a no-fault divorce, neither party is required to prove anything and, likewise, there is no requisite burden of proof; the marriage is simply irretrievably broken. A no-fault divorce can proceed in one of two ways:
- Both parties consent to the divorce, signing an affidavit agreeing to end the marriage. Pennsylvania then requires a 90 day “cooling off” period prior to granting the request; or
- A unilateral divorce can be granted if the couple has been separated for more than one year, regardless of whether or not both parties consent to the divorce.
3) Fault-Based Divorce: In a fault-based divorce, both spouses do not consent to the divorce and the one-year separation period is not applicable. In this situation, one spouse must prove that the other spouse is at fault for failure of the marriage. Courts in Pennsylvania recognize seven legal grounds for a fault-based divorce: Adultery, Bigamy, Cruel or Barbarous Treatment, Desertion, Imprisonment, Indignities (poor treatment), and Insanity. While a fault-based divorce is sometimes necessary, fault grounds can be costly and difficult to prove in court. Also, the process of submitting the proof to the court can be emotionally wrenching for all parties involved, including children.
Seeking a no-fault divorce serves the purpose of efficiency, and not requiring proofs of another party’s wrongdoing. However, while the parties to a divorce may agree, in principle, to a no-fault divorce, disputes generally arise with respect to other issues, including the division of assets and liabilities, child custody, child support, spousal support and/or Alimony Pendente Lite (APL). Most divorces involve some contested issues which must be resolved before a divorce is granted and, under such circumstances, litigation may be necessary.
With over two (2) decades of divorce litigation experience in prosecuting and defending divorce, custody and support cases in Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County and Bucks County Pennsylvania, McIntosh Lawyers, PC is poised to effectively advocate your position with confidence and compassion.