Pittsburgh Divorce Checklist
There are a lot of things to do when you are involved in a Pittsburgh divorce. You need to put together quite a bit of information, and there are many options you will need to consider. An experienced attorney can help you through the process and prepare you for what to expect.
You will have many things to keep track of. It may be helpful to create a checklist, so you don’t forget anything. Here, we will explain what you need to consider when filing for divorce and how you can find the right attorney to help you through the process.
Preparing for your Pittsburgh Divorce
States have different laws regarding divorce, and Pennsylvania is no different. Whether you are filing for divorce in Mt. Oliver, Castle Shannon, Shadyside or elsewhere in the Pittsburgh area, you have to meet certain requirements in order to file for divorce in the Keystone State:
- You or your spouse must be a resident of Pennsylvania for at least six months in order to file for divorce in the state.
- Either you or your spouse can claim the marriage is irretrievably broken.
- You both must agree to the divorce in writing or you have to be separated for two years.
- If you haven’t been separated for at least two years and one of you objects to the divorce, the other spouse can seek a fault-based divorce in Pittsburgh. This can be based on several grounds, including adultery, bigamy, cruel and inhuman treatment endangering the life or health of the spouse, imprisonment for two or more years, personal indignities and confinement in a mental institution when discharge isn't expected in the near future.
Finding a Pittsburgh Divorce Lawyer
Before you file for divorce, you should meet with a lawyer who focuses on Pittsburgh divorces. He can make sure that you are eligible to get divorced in Pennsylvania. He can also suggest strategies and ideas that will allow you to position yourself for the best possible outcome in your divorce.
Personal recommendations are an excellent way to find the names of divorce lawyers. You probably know people who have been divorced, and they can either tell you why they liked their lawyer or offer valuable insights into what they wish they had done differently.
At Attorneys.com, we can also help you find the names of attorneys who handle Pittsburgh divorces. In just a couple of minutes you can complete the form on this page or talk to us at 1-877-913-7222. We will then connect you with one or more attorneys in the Pittsburgh area who focus on family law. The lawyer will reach out to you within two business days, or you can call right away.
Next, it’s time to meet with the attorney or attorneys. This meeting is called an initial consultation. The initial consultation is usually free, but you should double-check when making the appointment.
Come to the initial consultation with a some documentation and a list of questions, along with something you can use to take notes.
Documents to Bring:
- Recent tax returns
- A list of your expenses
- A list of credit card bills and loans such as car loans and student loans
- Your latest mortgage statement or renter’s agreement
- Bank statements for the accounts you own with your spouse or those you hold separately
- Information about retirement accounts, including pensions and 401(k)s
Questions to Ask the Lawyers:
- Where did you go to law school?
- How many divorce cases have you handled in the Adult Section of the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County or other Pennsylvania courthouses?
- What will happen at every stage of the divorce process?
- How many cases like mine have you handled?
- How will our marital property be divided?
- If we have minor children, how does child custody and support work?
- How do you charge, and how much do you charge for a Pittsburgh divorce like mine?
- What’s the best way to reach you when I have questions, and when will you get back to me?
After the initial consultation, you should have a good idea of whether this is the right lawyer for you. Along with experience and fees, consider how comfortable the lawyer made you feel. You may be working with this lawyer for a long time, and you need one you trust. If you still aren’t sure, talk to the attorney’s references and find out about their experiences.
Once you understand how Pittsburgh divorces work and have the right attorney on your side, you can move forward with your divorce.