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Divorce and Family Law Attorneys in Exton PA

Exton’s Compassionate Family Champions: Your Trusted Family Law Advocates

Family Law Attorney in Exton, Pennsylvania 19341 & 19353

There may be no time in your life more difficult than when you are going through a divorce or other family-related struggle. The complete upheaval of your life, with no certainty about how things will ultimately turn out and with little to no knowledge regarding the laws, may leave you feeling confused, conflicted, and scared. That’s why you will want to have an attorney on your side who can understand what you’re going through, answer your questions thoroughly, and assist you in fighting for your rights and the best interests of you and any children you may have. The divorce and family law attorneys in Exton PA with Petrelli Previtera, LLC are experienced, empathetic, and ready to learn more about your circumstances and how we may be able to assist you. Schedule online or call (866) 465-5395  for your consultation. 

How Can We Help You?

We offer representation across all aspects of family law, which means we can assist you with your initial divorce. If you need representation later for child support, spousal support, or child custody, we can help you with that too. If you feel the property division wasn’t appropriate and want to appeal, we can help with that as well. This will help you keep expenses low, as you won’t need to waste time filling a new family law attorney in on the relevant details. 

Whether you are fighting to receive child or spousal support or to reduce it, are a grandparent who wants to seek grandparents’ visitation rights after your child has gotten divorced, are an LGBTQ+ parent concerned about protecting your parental rights, or have a high net-worth divorce, we are on your side. We will fight to ensure a fair and just outcome for you and any children involved. 

We can also assist with: 

  • Enforcing father’s rights
  • Updating your estate plan to reflect your new marital status
  • Splitting up as an unmarried couple
  • Adoption, including of a foster or stepchild
  • Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements
  • Domestic violence issues
  • Contempt accusations

Why Should You Choose Us Over the Competition?

We believe in offering exceptional legal representation while keeping expenses as reasonable as possible. We also believe in getting results as quickly as possible. That means if we can use our practical negotiation skills to settle your case without spending hours, days, or weeks in a courtroom, we will. But when you need someone to argue your case before a judge, we will fight for your rights as if we were fighting for our own. 

We are compassionate and approachable, and we stay on top of cutting-edge developments in the law and divorce procedures so that we can offer realistic solutions to your concerns. We are family-oriented, but that doesn’t just mean caring about our own families. When you become a client, you become part of the family, and we care almost as much about your family as you do. 

We thoroughly understand Pennsylvania laws surrounding divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, property division, and other family law matters. When you have questions, we have answers in an easy-to-understand, no-legalese format. We will use this knowledge to navigate your case and work hard to protect your rights. 

How to Get Started with Us

It’s understandable that you might not know what to do or where to start right now. Whether you’re dealing with a divorce, custody issues, or other family law matters, you may be in uncharted territory. Fortunately, we are quite familiar with this territory and can guide you through it. 

The first step to starting with Petrelli Previtera, LLC is scheduling your money-back guaranteed consultation. You can do this through our website or by calling us. 

During your consultation, we’ll review the details of your case, answer any questions you have, and ask any questions we need to clearly understand your circumstances. We’ll also explain your legal options and suggest what we think you should do. Every case is unique and we make sure our advice is tailored to your specific circumstances. 

If you decide to work with us after the consultation, we’ll proceed to the next steps. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Pennsylvania Family Law

Everyone has some common questions before meeting with a family law lawyer.  If you don’t find an answer here, we’ll be happy to provide one during your consultation.

How long must a couple be separated before a divorce is granted in Pennsylvania?

For a no-fault divorce, or grounds of irretrievable breakdown, the couple must live “separate and apart” for a minimum of one year before the divorce will be granted. However, if both parties can agree on all issues (child support, child custody, property division, spousal support), they may be able to take advantage of a shorter 90-day waiting period instead. Experienced divorce and family law attorneys in Exton PA, such as those with Petrelli Previtera, LLC may be able to help you determine whether you are eligible for the shorter waiting period. 

For a fault-based divorce, there is no waiting period. Per PA §3301, grounds for fault in Pennsylvania include: 

  • Adultery: One spouse committed had an affair
  • Bigamy: One spouse is married to another person
  • Cruelty: One spouse inflicted “cruel and barbarous treatment” on the other and endangered their life or health
  • Desertion: The other spouse abandoned the filing spouse for a minimum of two years before the divorce filing
  • Imprisonment: One spouse has been sentenced to prison for a minimum of two years
  • Indignities: The other spouse has made life burdensome and intolerable for the filing spouse

What are the factors used to determine alimony eligibility and amount?

There are 17 factors used in Pennsylvania to determine whether a spouse is eligible for alimony, or spousal support, and how much support they can get. Alimony is not required to be paid to either spouse unless the spouse can prove that they are unable to meet their own needs without financial assistance from the other spouse who can afford to pay it. 

Some of the 17 factors that are considered include:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Relative earning capacity of each spouse
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Contribution as a homemaker during the marriage 
  • Contribution to spouse’s education
  • Whether the custodial parent’s ability to earn income is affected by the children
  • Property brought to the marriage
  • Whether the supported spouse can become self-supporting through employment

What rights do fathers have in Pennsylvania?

Fathers have rights to their children. If paternity is already established because the father was married to the mother at the time the child was born or a paternity test has confirmed, it, fathers have the right to see their children and have custody of their children. They can petition the court for physical custody and/or visitation. Additionally, fathers can request legal custody, which grants them the right to participate in decision-making regarding important aspects of their children’s lives, such as religion, education, and healthcare. 

At what age can a child decide which parent they want to live with in Pennsylvania?

PA §5328 lists the factors that a court must consider when determining custody. This includes how old a child must be to decide which parent they want to live with. Per this law, children do not get to decide which parent they want to live with, but they do get to offer their well-reasoned preference, based on the maturity and judgment of the child. The law does not state a specific age, it only mentions the child’s maturity and judgment. Based on this, it is more likely that the older and more mature the child is, the more likely that the court will consider their wishes. Even a young child’s wishes may be considered if they are mature enough and can offer a well-reasoned preference. 

It is important to remember that the child’s preference is only one factor to be considered. There are several other factors listed in the law that must also be considered and may outweigh the child’s preference. 

What are the custody laws in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania’s child custody laws address issues such as child custody, child support, visitation, and other family-law related matters. The laws state that courts must make their decisions based on what is in the best interest of the child. The courts will consider things such as family relationships, mental and physical condition of all parties, location of each party, the child’s wishes, and other factors. 

One thing that is not considered in determining custody is the parent’s gender. Pennsylvania’s child custody laws include a gender-neutrality provision that helps to ensure that both favorable and unfavorable bias toward either gender are overcome and give both parents equal custody rights. This means that if both parents are found to be competent caregivers, the court is likely to award joint custody. 

Are parents required to allow grandparents visitation rights with their children?

Under typical circumstances, the parents determine who gets to see their children. If the parents deny the grandparents visitation, that decision is usually final. However, there are certain circumstances under which grandparents can petition the court for visitation rights. Some of these circumstances include: 

  • The child’s parent is deceased and the grandparent is the parent of the deceased parent
  • The grandparents have had a relationship with the child with the parents’ consent, but the parents are now fighting over custody and do not agree on letting the grandparents see the children
  • The child has lived with the grandparent for a minimum of 12 months and has been removed from the grandparent’s home within the last six months

Who has custody of a child when the parents are not married in Pennsylvania?

Generally, an unmarried mother has full physical and legal custody of the child until the unmarried father has established paternity. Even if both parents know that he is the father of the child, paternity must be legally established through the court system. This is usually done in one of the following ways: 

  • Both parents sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity
  • The mother files a Complaint for Child Support
  • Either parent files a Petition to Determine Paternity

Once paternity has been established, the father has the same rights as the mother and can enforce his parental rights, including requesting visitation and/or custody. 

What custody rights do grandparents have if the parents are not married in Pennsylvania?

When parents are married, grandparents do not have any custody rights to their grandchildren. However, if the parents are not married, the grandparents have a favored third-party status that may allow them to request custody in certain circumstances. Examples of circumstances where a grandparent may request custody of their grandchild include: 

  • When the child’s parent has died and the grandparent is the deceased parent’s parent
  • When the parents are divorced
  • When the parents have filed for divorce or been separated for at least six months
  • When the child has resided with the grandparent for at least 12 consecutive months and the grandparent files within six months of the parents removing the child from the grandparents’ home

In any case where a grandparent is asking for visitation or custody rights, the court will evaluate the relationship the child had with their grandparents prior to the request being made, including personal contact between grandparent and child and whether an ongoing relationship with the grandparent will interfere with the child’s relationship with their parents. The best interest of the child will also apply to these custody requests, just as they do when the parents are asking for custody. 

Do You Need a Family Law Attorney in Exton, PA? 

Family law matters can be complex and emotionally draining. In the midst of trying to do what is best for you and your family, you should not have to worry about trying to find, interpret, and understand Pennsylvania laws. Instead, you should consider speaking with one of the seasoned divorce and family law attorneys in Exton PA who can guide you through the confusing maze of laws and help you understand all of your legal options. If you need a family law lawyer in Exton, PA, or simply have questions you would like answered, consider reaching out to Petrelli Previtera, LLC by scheduling a consultation online or calling (866) 465-5395.

Client Testimonials

They are amazing! I highly recommend anyone that is in need of assistance with child support hearings to seek out the expertise and experience of this law firm and staff! They handled my case quickly and I feel that my money was put to good use. Much appreciated! Nothing less than five stars!

Alana Deverson

I just want to say GREAT JOB! She is a no nonsense professional with years of experience that qualifies her as a skilled Family Law attorney. She is seasoned, sensitive, and most of all she cares. She made things easy for me. Definitely recommend!

Kimberly Colby

Overall I was pleased with the results of my divorce case. The entire Petrelli Previtera team truly cares about their clients. Luckily for me, I was paired up with an amazing team helping all the way. If you happen to work with this firm and with the lawyers you’ll be in great hands. It was such an excellent service and it was beyond I expected.

A Family Law Client Chevy Chase , MD

Serving Clients at the Following Locations

Philadelphia1845 Walnut Street 19th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103(215) 523-6900view details
Montgomery County516 DeKalb Street Suite C Norristown, PA 19401(610) 924-2870view details
Doylestown123 N Broad Street, Doylestown, PA 18901(267) 938-4480view details
Abington1147 Easton Road, Abington PA 19001(610) 890-4833view details
West Chester203 W. Chestnut St., Suite 204
West Chester, PA. 19380
(610) 431-4012view details
Princeton475 Wall St, Suite 214, Princeton, NJ 08540(609) 917 9560view details
Linwood210 New Road #15 Linwood, NJ 08221(609) 375-0351view details
Parsippany8 Campus Dr, Parsippany, NJ 07054(973) 310-5320view details
Covington1148 Washington St SW, Covington, GA 30014(678) 730-6310view details
Bethesda4800 Hampden Lane, Suite 200 Bethesda MD 20814(301) 234-7409view details
Maryland5425 Wisconsin Ave Chevy Chase, MD 20815(301) 889-8085view details
ChicagoTwo Prudential Plaza 180 North Stetson Suite 3500 Chicago, IL 60601(312) 252-2085view details
Schaumburg1750 E. Golf Rd, Suite 382 Schaumburg, IL 60173(630) 491-9670view details
Texas500 W 2nd St Suite 1900 Austin, TX 78701(512) 883-1684view details
Washington DC1717 K Street NW, Suite 900 Washington DC 20006(202) 519-0366view details
Denver7900 E. Union Ave. Suite 1100, Denver, CO 80237(720) 821-6440view details