Divorce is never easy. A legal tussle with your family is perhaps the toughest challenge you will ever have to face. Emotions are running high, making it difficult to make rational and informed decisions about your future. If children are affected by those decisions, the stakes can even be higher. Hiring an experienced Pittsburgh divorce lawyer to help you navigate these challenging times will help you secure the very best outcome for you and your loved ones. Let the legal team at Petrelli Previtera, L.L.C. bring clarity out of your divorce chaos.
Pittsburgh, PA Office
Phone: (412) 501-4630
1 PPG Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Why Choose Us?
- An Inc. 5000 Law Firm
- We protect and support you through a divorce with as little stress as possible.
- We give you timely, high-quality legal advice.
- We listen with compassion when it feels like everything is falling apart.
- Dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for your case
- We are always looking out for you. Always there when you need us. No excuses.
- We’re the most prepared Pittsburgh divorce lawyers in and out of the courtroom.
To get the legal divorce assistance you need, you can reach Petrelli Previtera at (215) 977-4547. You can also get in touch with one of our live agents or schedule your consultation online with one of the firm’s top divorce attorneys in Pittsburgh, PA. We are always available for a same-day consultation.
Putting Our Clients’ Needs First
If you’re contemplating a divorce, you must understand that—just as tying the knot entailed more than just throwing a party and exchanging vows—divorce is more than just moving your stuff out of your common residence and going separate ways.
A divorce is the termination of a legal contract, and in and of itself is a legal procedure that can often get complicated. We’re here to help. With Petrelli Previtera by your side, you’ll be prepared to navigate the complexities of divorce issues with a clear, strategic plan in place.
Our legal team works with you throughout the legal process, from the decision to file for divorce through negotiated settlements or mediation to trial, if need be. We handle all matters related to divorce, including:
- Alimony/Spousal support– We’ll help you determine if alimony is appropriate and, if so, the duration, amount, and frequency of spousal support payments
- Child custody and visitation– Our Pittsburgh attorneys will help you formulate and implement visitation and custody arrangements that are in the best interests of your kids while protecting your rights as a parent
- Division of property- We’ll help you divide assets and debts under Pennsylvania’s community property laws.
- Child maintenance– Our attorneys will review any proposed child support order for compliance with Pennsylvania guidelines and ensure that all relevant details appear in the calculation.
Above all, we strive to help you transition to a place of greater confidence, so you can get on with the next chapter of your life. Turn to Petrelli Previtera today for customized, top-notch, and professional legal guidance.
The Divorce Process in Pittsburgh PA: Overview
Ending a marriage in Pennsylvania and moving on forward changes everything. It is also daunting on a practical level, especially when dividing your debts, savings, and real estate or coming up with a parental plan. Divorce brings up several questions that you and your spouse may disagree on, even though you thought you would.
Consider The Type of Divorce
- Contested Divorce in Pittsburgh
A contested divorce occurs when you and your spouse disagree on the major issues that must be resolved before you draw curtains on your union. A contested divorce is only necessary when your wife or your husband does not agree on contentious issues like who will retain the kids’ physical custody, who drives what car, or who keeps the marital home.
- Uncontested Divorce in Pittsburgh
An uncontested divorce happens when you and your spouse agree on all or most major issues, such as child custody, alimony, and property division. This type of divorce can typically be resolved quickly and works best if the two of you are on the same page.
A skilled family lawyer can help you determine whether you’re facing a contested or uncontested divorce. Let our experienced family law attorneys figure out the nitty-gritty of your separation on your behalf.
Filing For Divorce in Pittsburgh, PA
After considering the type of divorce and other preliminary matters with your lawyer, it is time to prepare the divorce complaint and file it in the appropriate local court. The complaint is the document that indicates you’re requesting a divorce, the grounds for the separation, and the relief you wish you to gain during the process.
You can file a divorce complaint based on different grounds for divorce, including no-fault or based on fault. You claim fault divorce in Pittsburgh if your spouse made life unbearable, oppressed you, married someone else during your union, or abandoned you and the children for more than a year. Under a no-fault divorce, you might argue that you’re ending the marriage based on institutionalization, irretrievable breakdown, mutual consent, among other factors.
Most people in Pittsburgh opt to file a no-fault divorce. You should consult with your family law attorney about the difference between filing a fault or no-fault divorce and which is most suited for your claim.
Going Through The Process
Once it’s time to file the official complaint, you and your lawyer will determine the appropriate jurisdiction. Your attorney will assess and decide whether or not you meet Pennsylvania’s divorce residency obligations.
The state of Pennsylvania requires individuals to reside in the state for a maximum of six months before filing a divorce complaint. In most cases, you will file the complaint in the county where you live, which in this case is Allegheny. If you and your spouse reside in different states, you can file in the county where they live.
If you are the spouse who is filing for divorce, you must serve the complaint on your wife or husband (the defendant) within 30 days of the filing date. As the plaintiff, you have up to 90 days to “serve” your spouse if they reside outside of Pennsylvania. Your divorce lawyer will advise you on the type of service that is needed to ensure it is legally viable, such as personal service by sheriff or certified mail or process server.
Once the defendant has received the complaint, they have a short period of time to file an answer or their appearance in court. Any solution might include a counterclaim involving a different type of relief and other grounds for divorce. Your spouse’s response and appearance are vital to the legal procedure.
In most instances, the defendant will respond, and you will be given a chance to file a response. Now, you will kick-start the next phase of resolving a number of challenging issues either in court or through mediation.
Pittsburgh Divorce Attorney Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Life-altering events often require legal advocacy, including divorce. Many essential variables must be outlined when two married individuals decide to go separate ways, even when they do not have children. Even if you and your spouse believe you can make all the decisions necessary to split—including dividing marital assets—it is always prudent to have a divorce attorney in Pittsburgh, PA, review the agreement before signing it.
The answer to this question depends on several factors:
- Non-consent and military divorce usually take longer to complete
- It is possible to file a mutual consent divorce after a 90-day waiting period.
- There’s no waiting for a fault-based divorce, which can be obtained with the help of a family lawyer.
- Mental hospital divorces may take longer to complete
It is relatively easy to obtain a split in Pittsburgh if both spouses agree to an “uncontested divorce.” Uncontested simply means that both spouses agree on all terms of the divorce, including spousal support, child custody and visitation, asset division, and child support.
If you and your spouse slightly disagree on something, then you might need a more conventional divorce. In summary, the process of filing a contested divorce is as follows:
- Meet the residency requirements
- Choose a fault-based or no-fault divorce.
- File complaint to initiate proceedings
- Serve your spouse
- Receive temporary orders (support/custody)
- Go through the discovery process.
- Attend litigation/mediation
- Get your final divorce decree issued by a judge
Possibly. Our Pittsburgh family law attorney would need to evaluate your marriage circumstances and the relevant factors that determine your alimony or spousal support in Pennsylvania. We can discuss your divorce and support options during an initial confidential strategy session so you can start planning for your future.
Splitting assets during a Pittsburgh divorce requires a careful assessment of your marital properties, which could include your residence, bank accounts, cars, or other financial holdings. In Pennsylvania, the general rule is that marital assets are shared equitably, which is not the same thing as “equally.” If you and your spouse cannot decide how to split your assets, the court will do it for you. Our Pittsburgh divorce attorneys can provide the guidance you need to pursue the best financial outcome before, during, and after your divorce case.
This deceptively simple question has no straightforward answer. Although some divorce-related expenses are inevitable, others can be controlled by making wise choices at the beginning of the divorce process.
For example, the fewer court appearances you have, the lower the cost of your divorce. The same goes for the attorney you’ll choose at the start of your case. This is because he or she is responsible for protecting you and ensuring that you get the right type of defense and skilled representation. That can only mean one thing: If you don’t have the right representation from the start, you could cost yourself even more money in the long run.
Grounds for divorce in Pittsburgh, PA, include:
- Irreconcilable differences
- Abandonment for at least one year
- Excessive abuse (cruelty)
- Institutionalization for insanity or a severe mental disorder for at least 18 months with no prospect of discharge
- Imprisonment for at least two years
- Felony conviction
See 23 P.a. C.S.A. 3301 for a complete list of grounds of fault for divorce in Pittsburgh and the larger Pennsylvania region.
Get Award-Winning Pittsburgh Divorce Attorneys On Your Side
When push comes to shove in your marriage, and the only remaining option is a divorce, you need the help of a Pittsburgh family law attorney who has your best interests at heart. You need an attorney who can provide sound legal advice in the most compassionate way possible. Our firm has been recognized as one of the top family law firms in the greater Philadelphia area. In the past decade alone, Thomas Petrelli, Jr, and his team have received some of the most prestigious accolades in the private practice space, including:
- Inc. 500 2019 & 2020 Honoree
- Recognized in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers since 2015
- Martindale-Hubbell’s Gold Client Champion 2017 Award
- The Nation Advocates Top 100 Lawyers
- The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40
Unlike other divorce law firms, our attorneys will personally oversee and handle all aspects of your case. We stay fully engaged in your family law tussle from the beginning to the end.
Pittsburgh Divorce Attorneys You Can Count On
Are you struggling to make a crucial decision about the future of your family? If so, it’s vital to have all the help you can get during this difficult time. Hiring an experienced Pittsburgh family law attorney will make a world of difference in your divorce case. Call us today or schedule a video consultation with one of our attorneys online, and we promise not to disappoint. We will carefully listen to your story, outline all of your legal options, and determine the best strategy for your specific situation—the winning strategy. Let us bring clarity out of your chaos.