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The below FAQs are frequently asked questions by people going through divorce; however, they do not represent a complete guide to all the legal issues related to divorce and the facts that make your case unique. Readers should not rely on this note as legal advice, but should consult with a divorce lawyer at Berman & Associates, who can answer your questions as they relate to the facts in your situation.
A: No. Pennsylvania has no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce can be granted if both parties consent or if the parties have been separated for one year. You still have the option of divorcing on fault grounds, but that option has limited benefits.
A: It is legally possible for two married people living in the same house to be considered separated. It depends upon a number of facts and circumstances as to whether they are living as a married couple or living as two individuals who happen to reside in the same dwelling.
A: No. Pennsylvania divorce law provides for equitable distribution of marital assets. Marital assets, generally, are assets acquired from the start of the marriage up until the date of separation. Such items are marital property and the court can distribute marital property to either party, regardless of whose name is on it.
A: Pennsylvania divorce law specifically says that marital misconduct (such as adultery) cannot be used as a factor by the court in deciding how to distribute marital property.
A: No. Leaving the home does not cause you to lose your rights to your marital share of the house or any other marital property in a divorce.
A: If you kept the inherited money in a separate account or any other asset only in your name, the original money or principal from the inheritance is separate property and your spouse would not be entitled to a share of that in a divorce. If the account grows in value from the time you first received it until separation, then the amount of the growth would be marital property subject to equitable distribution. On the other hand, if you put that money into both names or put it in an account that was already marital property, then all of that money becomes marital property and can be distributed in the divorce, although the court can consider the source of the funds in fashioning its equitable distribution award.
A: A retirement account like a 401(k) may be marital or separate property or partly both. The amount of money in that account before the marriage is separate property. The portion of the account added during the marriage until separation is marital property subject to possible distribution.
A: Whether or not you can get alimony depends on many specific circumstances. It is not automatic just because one party has a higher income. You may, however, pending a final divorce, be able to claim spousal support or alimony pendente lite. Determining whether you should claim support or alimony pendente lite can be answered by your Berman & Associates lawyer, who brings deep knowledge and many, many years of experience to the practice of divorce law.
A: Yes, you can file a complaint for child support. Each parent has a duty to provide for his or her child. Child support is determined by taking into account the after-tax income of both parties and applying the formula and tables of the Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines.
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