Frequently Asked Questions On Family Law Matters

My marriage is crumbling. Is it okay for me to leave? Will I be punished if I leave the home?

You are certainly free to leave whenever you choose, but it is better if you are not leaving to live with someone else before your marriage ends legally. If you are in an abusive situation it is best to get out. You will not be punished in your family law case for this. If kids are involved, you naturally want to get them out of an abusive situation, too. It is best to have a plan for physical custody and a plan ready to put into action. Talk to an attorney as soon as you are thinking along these lines.

Can I take the children if I am in an abusive relationship? How will I get financial support if I do this?

If a dependant spouse is leaving it is important to go immediately to the domestic relations office and file for domestic and child support. The sooner you can get to the domestic relations office the better. When your case is settled, your child support will be backdated to when this complaint was filed.

What mistakes should I avoid as I approach a divorce or separation?

Don't sign anything. It is best to know what your rights are before you start agreeing to division of property, alimony or custody. It is important to find out what your rights are. Don't be guided by emotion. Rather, turn to a trustworthy lawyer to guide you. Listen carefully to sound advice. Contact an attorney as soon as you think about leaving.for reliable counsel on how to protect your rights. When you realize your marriage is truly over, contact your attorney to learn about the next steps to take.

Will social media postings affect my divorce?

Social media can be a very dangerous tool during your divorce. For your own good, forget that Facebook even exists. Ask your parents, brothers and sisters, and close friends not to post photos of you or your children. The less you say online, the better. Absolutely refrain from discussing anything about your marriage, family problems or custody in any public forum, including blog entries and comments on any online content. Your words and images posted on Facebook, Instagram or elsewhere on the internet can be thrown back in your face and hurt your case.

Am I entitled to half of the marital estate?

Equitable distribution is based on a number of factors and does not necessarily mean there will be a 50-50 split of assets. A family law judge will look at economic issues specific to your case such as who is in a better position to acquire new assets. A knowledgeable lawyer on your side can set realistic expectations as you proceed with negotiations over property division.

How long will the divorce process take?

The length of time necessary to complete your divorce will depend on the extent of marital property and how long it takes to resolve any disputes that may arise. At the earliest, your divorce may reach its conclusion about 90-120 days after the defendant is served with a petition for divorce. Even in the ideal situation of a no-fault divorce, when spouses agree on terms of a divorce, there is a required 90-day waiting period.

Is it true that at the age of 12, a child can decide where they want to live?

No, this is not true. The older the child is when a custody case is under discussion, the more their preference is taken into consideration. However, determination of the child's best interests in a custody case is always up to the court.

Schedule A Consultation On Your Specific Family Law FAQs

My question is not addressed here. How can I get straightforward, personalized answers to other frequently asked questions on family law matters?

At the law offices of Blakley & Jones in DuBois, Pennsylvania, we will gladly consider and respond to your own FAQs. To discuss your specific questions with me, Attorney Benjamin S. Blakley III, call 814-371-2730 or send an email query through this website.